Sony Sees Overall Growth Versus Last Year's Losses; PSP Sales See Dramatic Decline

By Xav de Matos, Oct 29, 2010 8:30am PDT

Sony Corporation has issued its earnings report for the second quarter of fiscal year 2010, revealing that the company's "Networked Products and Services" division--which includes the PlayStation family, alongside PC products and other connected devices--continued to see growth.

According to the report, when combined, the division was responsible for a ¥6.9 billion ($85.4 million) operating profit compared to a ¥59 billion ($730.7M) loss for the same period last year. However, sales specific to the games industry were down to ¥171 billion ($2.1 billion) this year, versus ¥196 ($2.4B) the year before.

Of most notable concern, PSP hardware sales dropped 50 percent, from 3M units last year, to 1.5M this year. PlayStation 3 hardware saw a 9.3 percent increase in sales over last year, to 3.5 million units in the reporting period. PS3 software sales were up 40 percent, totaling 35 million units versus 25 million for the second quarter of fiscal year 2009.

In terms of global units sold of the PlayStation 3 versus the Xbox 360, it appears that Sony is quickly gaining ground on Microsoft. As of September 30, 2010, Sony has sold 39.2 million PlayStation 3 units worldwide, versus Microsoft's 44.6 million Xbox 360 consoles. Whereas Microsoft sold 2.8 million units (worldwide) of its Xbox 360 from July to September 2010, Sony sold 3.5 million units around the globe.

Shockingly, the 10-year-old PlayStation 2 maintained on equal footing in terms of hardware sales as Sony's handheld, also selling 1.5 million units in the reporting period. Software sales also saw a decline versus last year, dropping 15 percent (from 13M units to 11M). Perhaps it's time for the PSP to get a refresh or for Sony to develop a new strategy?

Sony's consolidated operating income jumped to ¥68.7 billion ($850.8M), overall a "significant improvement," despite "unfavorable exchange rates." In the same period last year, Sony recorded a ¥32.6 billion ($403.7M) loss.

If the numbers are making your eyes glaze over, we recommend pretending that Kevin Butler was reading the report to you. You're bound to giggle at some point.

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