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Making PS3 profitable is Sony's priority

More important than beating Xbox 360.

Making the PlayStation 3 profitable is more important than selling more consoles than Microsoft, Sony has said.

That's the verdict of PlayStation software senior brand manager Scott McCarthy, who told IndustryGamers that Sony isn't obsessed with the PlayStation 3 overtaking the Xbox 360's lifetime sales.

"So do we pass Xbox 360?, he asked. "At the moment, I think we're trying to just keep up with inventory and trying to move as many units as we can through the channel.

"It's also one of those things where, do we notice what Microsoft is doing? Obviously, they are our competition. But is it like we surpass Microsoft or we fail? No. Our goal is to be profitable and we're going to achieve that this year and do even better next year.

"That's been Nintendo's position for years. We have a very aggressive plan this year. And when we're profitable we're happy. If we happen to close the gap with Microsoft in the meantime, then that's good too."

After a slow start, Sony's PlayStation 3 has closed the gap on Microsoft's Xbox 360 - global PS3 sales are 47.9 million and Xbox 360 sales 50 million.

Analysts expect the PS3 will overtake the Xbox 360 this year. The Xbox 360 launched at the end of 2005; the PS3 roughly a year later (Europe had to wait until March 2007). Xbox 360 had a clear early lead, but following the launch of the PS3 Slim in 2009, Sony's numbers revved. Kinect has bolstered Xbox 360's Christmas and early 2011 sales, but whether Microsoft can stave off PS3 looks increasingly unlikely.

But, of course, it's Nintendo that leads the seventh generation of consoles with 84.6 million Wii sales.

Still, Sony reckons 2011 will be a big year for the PS3.

"We obviously are very bullish on our platform," McCarthy said. "We do feel like we have a great message with Move... and we feel we have the strongest line-up we've ever had coming this year.

"PS3 has superior technology inside the box, and this is going to be the year where we make a lot of noise based on the exclusive titles you're going to be able to play.

"Those things together will give us a voice. We gained a lot of momentum with the 'It Only Does Everything' message, and that was a great hardware message, but this year we're going to follow it up with another punch that is an 'Only on PlayStation' message.

"You know, LittleBigPlanet 2 led us off; then we've got Killzone 3, SOCOM, Infamous 2, Twisted Metal, Uncharted, Resistance... the list goes on. And that's excluding Move specific software. For the gamer there's a lot to look forward to, and for the Move consumer there's also a lot to look forward to."