PlayStation 3 Perks up Profits with Doubled Sales for Sony

After initial sales that smoldered like wet newspaper beside Nintendo’s crackling Wii bonfire, it looks like Sony’s PlayStation 3 is finally ready to blaze. On Thursday, the company reported doubling PS3 sales in April through June of this year, compared to the same quarter last year.

More specifically, Sony moved just 1.1 million PlayStations last year during the first quarter, and managed to bump it to 2.4 million this year. The apparent spark came from Sony’s introduction of the PS3 Slim last year, which dropped the price on the console to $299, making it price competitive with Microsoft’s Xbox 360 for the first time in its history. Sony saw an immediate leap in sales, which has apparently continued well into 2010.

Despite the boost, Sony’s PlayStation division continues to run in red ink – just a lot less of it. Last year, the division cost Sony $422 in the first quarter, which has been pared down remarkably to just $43 million for the same period this year.

Microsoft announced a new slimmer version of the Xbox 360 midway through June that could affect sales into the fall, but without a corresponding price drop. The fate of both companies could well turn on their motion control systems in fall: the Sony Move and Microsoft Kinect.

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