Sony’s PlayStation 3 is on the cusp of outselling Microsoft’s Xbox 360, despite the fact that the PS3 launched about a year after the Xbox 360.According to Sony’s latest earnings report released last night, the company sold 3.2 million PlayStation 3 consoles during the quarter from June to September, compared with 2.8 million Xbox 360s during the same quarter. Sony’s new PlayStation Move controller may not be wowing reviewers, but like Microsoft’s similar Kinect system, it seems to be spurring a resurgence in sales.
The PS3 is within 4 million units of the Xbox 360’s lifetime total according to VGChartz. Equally important, the PS3 has been profitable on a per-unit basis since last May, according to executives speaking on Sony’s earnings call. Microsoft has never claimed profitability on the Xbox 360 console, although it’s making money overall thanks to games and Xbox Live subscriptions.
Both consoles still trail far behind Nintendo’s Wii, which has sold more than 75 million units to date.
Sony also sold 1.5 million PS2s during the quarter, bringing the total for that venerable game machine to 137 million.
Overall, Sony’s earnings report was pretty good: the company earned 31 billion yen ($375 million) versus a 26.3 billion yen loss a year ago, and revenue was up about 4%. Electronics, computers and games, and motion pictures all grew revenues. The only business to decline from last year was music, which isn’t surprising given the state of that industry. Last year’s results were also helped (morbidly) by the death of Michael Jackson, which led to a boom in catalogue sales for that Sony artist last fall.
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