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PlayStation just brought in £3bn for Sony

PlayStation Plus.

PlayStation continues to do the business for Japanese electronics giant Sony.

I'm considerably richer than you!

For the third quarter ending 31st December 2014, Sony's Game & Network Services division, of which PlayStation is a part, brought in a whopping 531.5bn yen, or £2.9bn. G&NS generated more revenue than any other Sony division during the quarter.

That made for a "significant" sales increase of 16.8 per cent year on year, primarily due to PlayStation 4 sales boost.

6.4m PS4s were sold during the quarter. The same quarter the previous year, 4.5m were sold. Earlier this month Sony announced the PS4 had sold 20.2m units globally.

But the "favourable" impact of foreign exchange rates and a "significant" increase in network services revenue (that'll be all those PlayStation Plus subscriptions) also helped.

Not everything PlayStation prints money, however. Decreased sales of the ageing PS3 and PS3 games had an impact, as you'd expect.

With such high sales, operating income increased to £153m. There was a £62m write-down of Vita and PS TV components as both of those products continue to struggle sales wise. But Sony benefited from a comparison with the same quarter last year, during which it recorded a £34m write-off of PC games relating to PlanetSide and EverQuest maker Sony Online Entertainment. Sony recently sold the developer.

Sony forecasts 17.5m PS4 and PS3 combines sales for the 2014 financial year, which ends March 2015. That's up from its previous forecast of 17m. Its 3.5m sales prediction for portables (PS TV, Vita and PSP) remains the same. It expects software sales of 420m, up from the previous forecast of 390m.

For Sony as a whole, it was a positive quarter. Sales were up 6.5 per cent and operating income was up 104 per cent. But it still expects to report a net loss - its sixth in seven years - for the current financial year.

The pressure has been on Sony boss Kaz Hirai for some time now to return the iconic Japanese company to something approaching its former glory. Sony recently announced a new business strategy, which it hopes will help the gargantuan company swing to profit over the next few years. PlayStation is central to the plan.

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