By Chris Nicholls

TOKYO: Sony Corporation has announced its computer gaming division finally returned to the black this quarter after a long period of heavy losses incurred due to problems with the Playstation 3.

The company’s third quarter results, announced today, showed a 31.2 per cent rise in the gaming division’s operating sales over the same period last year to 5.8 billion Yen (AU$60.8 million). Sony said the rise was due to cost cuts in PS3 hardware and higher PSP sales. The company sold 4.9 million PS3’s for the quarter.

Overall PS2 hardware and PSP software sales were down, though, with 1.35 million fewer PS2’s sold this year than Q3 2006. PSP software sales were down by three million units.

Sony also lowered its yearly forecast for PS3 sales from 11 million to 9.5 million.

The overall positive result for the games division was undermined by a seven per cent profit drop for the electronics division, which included Bravia televisions. Overall sales increased by 10.2 per cent, but a drop in unit prices in the hotly contested LCD television market led to the loss.

Total operating profits for the company rose 5.8 per cent, while total takings rose 9.6 per cent.