Sony Q3: PS3 software and hardware up, PSP and PS2 notsomuch

Here's some data from Sony's fiscal Q3 earnings and, as predicted, the electronics giant had some positives things to report out of its gaming division. However, like always, with the good comes the bad (and sometimes the ugly). The good: "Due to the launch of a new model, approximately 6.5 million units of PlayStation 3 ... hardware were sold in the current quarter, compared to approximately 4.5 million units in the prior year's third quarter," reports Sony's Q3 earnings report. The PS3 Slim continues to drive hardware sales, with its slim new form factor and, more importantly, slim new price tag. Now the bad: "Approximately 4.2 million PSP units were sold in the current quarter, compared to approximately 5.1 million units in the prior year's third quarter." And the ugly: "Approximately 2.1 million PS2 units were sold in the current quarter, compared to approximately 2.5 million units in the prior year's third quarter."

It's when you get to the PS2 software sales that things really get ugly. Sony sold 11.2 million PS2 software units, a 62% drop from the same period last year. The bad: The PSP sold 15 million units, a tiny 3% drop from the same period last year. Just like the hardware numbers, the PS3 software numbers are the good: Sony sold over 47.6 million pieces of PS3 software, a lovely 17% jump from the same period last year.

But things aren't so bad for the beleaguered division. "Despite a decrease in PS2 hardware and software unit sales, as well as PSP hardware unit sales, profitability was relatively unchanged mainly due to an improvement in the cost of PS3 hardware," Sony reported. Sony's Q4 forecast predicts more of the same: a "decrease in PS2 hardware and software sales" and "an improvement in PS3 hardware and software profitability." And that's how console generations work, boys and girls!

This article was originally published on Joystiq.