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PlayStation 3 Sales Decline

Sony blamed poor sales on the lack of hot new titles for the platform.

Sony on Thursday said PlayStation 3 unit sales fell by more than 31% in its fiscal first quarter, as the consumer electronics company joined Nintendo in reporting weak demand for video-game consoles.

The PS3 sales slump contributed to Sony's second consecutive quarterly loss, which the company attributed to continued weakness in electronics sales. The company reported a net loss of 37.1 billion yen, or about $386 million, for the quarter ended June 30, compared to a profit of 35 billion yen, or about $366.3 million, in the same period a year ago. Revenues dropped 19% to 1.6 trillion yen, or $16.7 billion.

The drop in PlayStation 3 sales contributed to Sony's overall slump. The company reported that it sold 1.1 million units in the quarter, compared to 1.6 million units a year ago. Sony blamed the drop on the lack of a hot, new game to drive sales.

Nintendo gave the same reason Thursday in reporting that Wii sales for the same quarter fell by more than half, to 2.23 million units from 5.17 million units in the same period a year ago.

The poor Wii performance contributed to a 60% drop in Nintendo's overall profits, which fell to 42.3 billion yen, or $445 million, from 107 billion yen, or about $1.1 billion a year ago. Revenue fell to 253.5 billion yen, or $2.7 billion, from 423.4 billion yen, or $4.4 billion.

Console sales are driven by the popularity of games available for the platforms. A scarcity of big titles in May helped drive down overall sales for the video-game industry in the United States to its lowest level in nearly two years, according to the NPD Group. Sales of video games, consoles, software, and accessories fell below $1 billion for the first time since August 2007. The biggest decline was in hardware sales, which fell 30% from a year ago.

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