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Sony sees modest PS3 growth, dramatic decline in PSP sales in Q2 versus last year


Sony Corporation has released its earnings report for the second quarter of its 2010 fiscal year, and among the highlights is the performance of its Networked Products & Services division, which is composed of PlayStation and its PC offerings. Always a strong component of the company, the division once again showed growth, bringing in ¥369 billion ($4.6 billion) in revenue, up five percent from the ¥352 billion ($4.3 billion) earned in the same period last year.

Looking at hardware sales, PS3 shipments rose slightly over Q2 of FY 2009, totaling 3.5 million units versus 3.2 million the year before, a change of 9.3 percent. In its report, Sony cites "strong performance of PS3 significant hardware cost reductions and higher sales," elsewhere briefly mentioning that sales "benefited from the introduction of PlayStation Move in the current quarter." PS3 software sales were up 10 million units for the quarter, or 40 percent, totaling 35 million units versus 25 million for Q2 FY 2009.

Yesterday, Microsoft announced that shipments of Xbox 360 for the first quarter of its 2011 fiscal year had grown by 25 percent over the same time last year. While it may seem like 360 is pummeling PS3, it's important to note that Sony's console hasn't seen a hardware refresh since the PS3 slim's introduction last year; the Xbox 360 S launched just prior to Microsoft's Q1 FY 2011.

The picture Sony's earnings report paints for the PSP is anything but encouraging. Sales of the handheld dropped to 1.2 million units for the quarter, down from 3 million during the same period in FY 2009, a decrease of 50 percent. PSP software sales were down -- albeit far less dramatically -- 15 percent, with 11 million units sold during the quarter compared to 13 million the previous year. Despite the handheld's lower performance this year versus last, Sony is only projecting a 20 percent overall drop in sales for the year, projecting sales of eight million units versus the 10 million in FY 2009. Still, if signs of a new platform in the PlayStation Phone weren't enough to signal the end of PSP's era, these numbers only make it clearer.

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