PS3, 360 worldwide sales now 2 million apart

Sony's new financial report not rosy.

Worldwide PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 sales are now only two million units apart.

As of 30th September, 55.5 million PlayStation 3 units had been sold, Sony today revealed.

As of 30th September, 57.6 million Xbox 360 units had been sold.

The PlayStation 3 launched a year after Xbox 360 in the US and Japan, and even later in Europe. And while Xbox 360 dominates North American sales, it's PlayStation 3 that tops European and Japanese sales.

Then again, North America is the world's largest gaming market.

The revised PlayStation 3 numbers come from Sony's Q2 2011 financial report.

This is the first report since the PlayStation 3 price was cut in August. This resulted in Sony's strongest second quarter for PS3 so far, with 3.7 million sales. Mind you, that's only an increase of 200,000 sales on last year.

PSP sales were 1.7 million for Q2 2011 (up 200,000), and PS2 sales 1.2 million (down 300,000).

PS3 software sales rose from 35.3 million to 37.4 million; PSP software sales fell from 11 million to 8.1 million; and PS2 software sales fell from 5.6 million to 2.8 million.

In general, the PlayStation business - as part of the Consumer Products & Services division - recorded a loss of 34.6 billion yen (-$449 million / -293 million). The two main reasons for this were "unfavourable foreign exchange rates" and "lower LCD [television] sales". Sony also acknowledged making less money from PS3 hardware, due to the system's price cut.

Ongoing production problems caused by the March earthquake and tsunami, and the Thailand flood, were mentioned too.

Sony, overall, posted a loss of 1.6 billion yen ($20 million / 13 million) - a significant decrease on the 68.7 billion profit ($880 million / 549 million) in 2010.

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