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Sony posts strong Q3 profits (+135%!) in PlayStation group

Despite a small 6% dip in quarterly sales year-over-year, "due to a decrease in sales in the game business resulting primarily from unfavorable foreign exchange rates," Sony's Networked Products & Services group, which houses its PlayStation brand, posted an impressive ¥45.7 billion (rougly $564 million) in profits for the third quarter period, ended December 31, an impressive 135% boost over the prior-year period. "The game business benefited from significant cost reductions of PlayStation 3 ("PS3") hardware and higher unit sales of PS3 software," the earnings report reads.

Though quarterly sales of both the PlayStation 3 and PSP lagged year-over-year, Sony is forecasting 15 million PS3 consoles sold for the fiscal year, compared to 13 million for the year prior. Coupled with the aforementioned "cost reductions" and significant bumps in PlayStation 3 software sales, things are looking up in PS3-land. Over in PSP and PS2 land, things aren't so bright. The PSP, recently stricken by hardware obsolescence, is forecasted to sell eight million units for the year, versus nearly ten million last year, while the PS2 is on track to rack up six million in sales, compared to over seven million last year.

Toss in some profitability on the PSN front – Sony's working on it – and fiscal 2011 is looking bright for Sony.

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