A burden on the Japanese electronics giant following the PlayStation 3‘s 2006 launch, Sony Computer Entertainment has steadily risen, attaining profitability during the third of its 2007 fiscal year. Though the division’s annual revenue was still in the red for the year, its losses halved from the prior year, thanks to lowered production costs, increased PS3 and PSP sales, and still-strong PlayStation 2 and software sales.
For the first fiscal quarter ended June 30, Sony’s games division reaped ¥229.6 billion (US$2.1 billion), a 17 percent increase over the ¥196.6 billion (US$1.8 billion) the business brought in over the same period last year. PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable sales drove growth for SCE, and the publisher noted that the stalwart PlayStation 2 continues to show signs of age, seeing a slip in year-over-year sales. Despite the slip, the publisher noted that PS2 software and hardware sales continue to contribute to the games division’s operating income, which stood at ¥5.4 billion (US$50 million) on the quarter, up from a loss of ¥29.2 billion (US$270 million) a year ago.
Global quarterly sales for the PlayStation 3 hit 1.56 million, a 123 percent increase over a year prior and 260,000 units more than the 1.3 million Xbox 360s Microsoft sold during the same period. Sony has now sold more than 14.4 million PS3s globally since its November 2006 launch. In comparison, Microsoft has sold over 20 million Xbox 360s internationally since its November 2005 launch as of last week. Nintendo, which will release its quarterly financials tomorrow, reported 24.4 million Wiis were sold worldwide from November 2006 to the end of March 2008.
While not quite as dramatic as the PS3’s gains, PSP sales rose 75 percent to 3.72 million units for the quarter. PS2 sales slid 43 percent, down to 1.51 million units for the three-month period.