A trio of publicly filed financial reports for the most recent quarter (July through Sept. '06) have shed some light on the fiscal fates of the three major consoles makers going into the critical holiday period.
First up is Sony, which posted massively reduced earnings as expected. The ongoing laptop battery recall accounted for much of the 94 percent reduction in profits, but slow sales of the PSP and Playstation 2 accounted for a 43.5 billion yen operating loss in the games division. Research and development costs for the PS3 also cut into Sony's bottom line for games. Sony is still predicting sales of 6 million Playstation 3 units by March '07.
Nintendo's financial situation is much rosier, with profits rising 72 percent on strong sales of DS hardware and software. The company is shipping 100,000 DS units a week and is still unable to meet demand in some Japanese stores. Nintendo expects to sell 20 million DS units and 6 million Wii units this fiscal year (ending March 2007), helping pad down an net income forecast of 100 billion yen.
Spurred on by higher software sales, Microsoft announced game revenue for the 360 and PC increased 107 percent ($319 million) in the past quarter. Microsoft's Entertainment and Devices Division (which includes the games unit) grew by 70 percent over the same period last year. The Xbox 360 sold 900,000 units in the quarter, pushing it over 6 million units sold worldwide, and putting it well on its way to selling an expected ten million systems by the end of 2006, according to Microsoft.
Read: Sony report
Read: Nintendo report
Read: Microsoft report