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PS3 Sells 41.6 Million, PlayStation Division Profitable

October 29, 2010 Written by Sebastian Moss

With hundreds of millions being spent on the development of the PlayStation 3′s Cell processor, and even more on selling the console at a loss, the PlayStation division has been an extremely costly endeavour for Sony. The Japanese electronics company now sells the PS3 at a profit, and has announced strong software sales on both the PS3 and PSP, so it seems things are looking up for Sony. But while PS3 sales were up over the course of the year, PSP sales have dipped dramatically – eating into potential profits on that platform.

Sony’s Networked Product and Services division, which includes PlayStation, PC and other connected devices, had an operating profit of ¥6.9 billion/$85.5m/£53.7m for Q2, compared to a ¥59 billion/$731m/£458m loss for the same period last year. The game category of the division dropped in sales by 12.9 per cent, to ¥171 billion/$2.1bn/£1.3bn, compared to $2.4bn for the same quarter last year.

Sony Corporation as a whole recorded a profit of ¥62.7 billion/$777.1m/£487.7m for the period, compared to a ¥26.3 billion loss the same time last year.

To put Sony’s profits into perspective, Microsoft’s Entertainment and Devices division, made up of Xbox, Zune and Windows Phone 7, has reported an operating profit of $382 million (£239m) for Q1, up by 46 per cent over the same period last year. Additionally, Halo Reach has generated revenues of $350 million since launch.

While PlayStation may not have been as profitable as the Xbox, sales of the PS3 topped the 360, with over 8.1 million PS3s sold  in 2010 compared to Microsoft’s 5.8 million Xbox 360s. In Q2, PS3 sales rose from 3.2 million to 3.5 million compared to the same period last year,

The high sales of the console closed the worldwide sales gap between it and the  Xbox 360, with the 360 having sold 44.5 million, and the PS3 41.6 million.

The PSP, on the other hand, dropped by half from 3 million to 1.5 million. The PS2 also sold 1.5 million units, down from 1.9 million last year.

PS3 software sales rose from 23.9 to 35.3 million units, while PSP game sales dropped from 13 to 11 million units. PS2 game sales also fell from 11.4 to 5.6 million units.

Sony’s sales forecasts were left unchanged, with predicted sales of 15 million PlayStation 3 units, 8 million PSP units and 6 million PlayStation 2 units.