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A dip in PlayStation sales but also a dip in Sony's losses

How's Kaz Hirai doing?

PlayStation sales are slouching, particularly handheld, but Sony's more streamlined business appears to be paying off (tell that to the 10,000 staff to be laid off by March 2013).

Last year during the months July, August and September, Sony sold a combined 4.9 million PS2 and PS3 consoles. This year that number was 3.5 million.

Last year during those months, Sony sold 1.7 million PSP and Vita handhelds. This year that number was a slightly lower 1.6 million.

Sony lowered its expectations for PSP and Vita by 2 million, down to 10 million for the full year. The PS2 and PS3 full-year total remains the same at 16 million.

It's another opportunity to use this, perhaps the best picture of Kaz Hirai there will ever be.

Nevertheless, Sony expects to make the same amount of money because operation costs are lower. Presumably this is down to Sony's restructuring under Kaz Hirai and maybe the lower manufacturing costs of the new PS3 super duper Slim, introduced late September.

Looking ahead, Sony said: "In the Game business, Sony is working to further expand the PS3 platform through measures such as the introduction of a new, smaller and lighter model with a larger capacity HDD. Sony is also working to further spread the PS Vita platform, which Sony introduced last year, through various measures such as the introduction of an attractive software line-up.

"Sony also acquired US-based Gaikai Inc. in August 2012. Through this acquisition, Sony aims to provide users with interactive entertainment experiences by establishing a new cloud service."

Sony's Game (PlayStation) segment made $1.9 billion during the quarter - almost exactly the same amount Microsoft's Entertainment and Devices Division (Xbox) totted for the same period.

PS3 lifetime sales have been impossible to specifically calculate since Sony started lumping PS3 and PS2 sales together in April. As of March 2012 the specific global total was 63.9 million. In the six months since, PS3 and PS2 have combined to sell 6.3 million units. Microsoft announced a new global Xbox 360 total of 70 million in October.

(Members of NeoGAF have compiled loads of Sony versus Nintendo versus Microsoft sales numbers. Most I've verified but not all - they look pretty on the mark.)

Sony as a whole made ¥1.6 trillion ($20 billion / £12.4 billion), an improvement of 1.9 per cent. The consolidation of the Sony Ericsson business into the new Sony Mobile segment helped bump numbers up.

The bottom line was a net loss of ¥15.5 billion ($337 million / £208 million), down from ¥27 billion during the same period last year.

Nothing happened of note in the conference call, in case you were wondering.

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