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PS3 sales do the business for Sony

Games business makes monster profit.

Higher sales of PlayStation games and cost reductions on PlayStation 3 hardware helped Sony's game division to a profit of ¥45.7 billion (£348m / $564m) for the third quarter ended 31st December.

Sales decreased by 6.4 per cent year-on-year, but Sony won't be too bothered: it expects to sell more PS3s this financial year than the previous financial year. It forecasts it'll shift 15 million PS3s worldwide by the end of the financial year. It sold 13 million PS3s during the entire financial year last time around.

6.3 million PS3s were sold during the quarter, down slightly by 0.2 per cent, although Sony has already met its sales projection for the year. Total global PS3 sales now stand at 47.9 million. Xbox 360 has sold 50 million worldwide.

But what of the PlayStation Portable? Sony sold 3.6 million units during the quarter, down from 4.2 million the previous year. Financial year to date it's done eight million. PlayStation 2 sales were 2.1 million – exactly the same as Q3 2009.

Importantly PS3 game sales were up by 10 million units, from 47.6 million to 57.6 million. Remember, Sony makes a fistful of dollars via a platform license fee on every game sold for the PS3.

PSP game sales rose to 16.5 million from 15 million last year. Predictably, PS2 game sales fell, from 11.2 million units to 5.3 million.

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