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Sony posts FY 2010 earnings, singles out profits in PlayStation business

Following Monday's revised forecast – in which Sony warned of a $3.2 billion loss – the recently besieged company has issued its report for the 2010 fiscal year ended March 31. While things at Sony proper might not be entirely rosy, the good news for gamers is that the company's Networked Products and Services division, home of the PlayStation brand, drove operating income "due principally to the contribution of the game business." The roughly $171 million cost of the PSN outage occurred after the end of the fiscal year and therefore isn't reflected in these numbers.

So what specifically is responsible for the massive change in operating income, from a ¥83.3 billion loss last year to ¥35.6 billion in income this year? For the singled-out games business, it was thanks to "significant cost reductions of PlayStation 3 hardware and higher unit sales of PS3 software." You can check out the overall sales numbers in that handy slide above.

While operating income was up, overall sales in the Networked Products and Services division were largely flat, dipping 1.2% year over year. Looking at the hardware sales numbers, the PS3 sold 14.3 million units versus 13 million last year; the PSP sold 8 million versus 9.9 million last year; and the aging PS2 still managed to hit 6.4 million units versus 7.3 million last year. Forecasts for 2011 have the PS3 ticking up slightly while the PSP and PS2 continue to flag. Not mentioned here though: NGP, which should certainly help the PlayStation family move that needle.

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