January 22nd, 2008, 19:15 Posted By: wraggster
Sony Corp., the world's largest video-game console maker, sold a record number of PlayStation 3 machines in Europe during the holiday shopping season after lowering prices to compete against Nintendo Co.'s Wii.
Sony, which began selling PlayStation 3s in Europe in March, shipped about 1.2 million consoles in the region during the five- week period ended Dec. 31, Kazuo Hirai, president of Sony's game division, said in a Bloomberg Television interview aired today. That's in line with U.S. shipments during the period, he said.
Price cuts and the introduction of a cheaper model helped Sony approach its goal of selling 11 million PlayStation 3s in the year ending March. Still, analysts at Nikko Citigroup Ltd. and Daiwa Institute of Research Ltd. predict the Tokyo-based company will miss the target after being outsold by the Wii and Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox 360.
Sony, which generated 12 percent of revenue from the game unit during the three months ended Sept. 30, has posted seven straight quarters of losses at the division.
Higher sales, coupled with lower production costs, will reduce the company's operating losses related to PlayStation 3s by 90 percent to $158 million in the fiscal second half ending March 31, according to Dec. 27 estimates by Nikko Citigroup.
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