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iSuppli: PS3 still sold at a loss

But Sony may be at the "tipping point" of profitability

The PlayStation 3 is still being sold at a small loss according to the latest estimates from market research firm iSuppli, with Sony predicted to be able to break even in the near future.

iSuppli's analysis of the 120GB PS3's internal components has lead it to put a figure of USD 336.27 on the cost of parts and manufacturing for the console. The hardware sells for USD 299.99 in North America and the equivalent of USD 438 in the UK and USD 318 in Japan.

The falling cost of components is likely to see the cost of manufacturing continue to fall in 2010, with iSuppli analyst Andrew Rassweiler commenting: "In light of these factors, the PlayStation 3 probably is already at or near the tipping point for profitability."

iSuppli suggests that Sony was previously losing USD 49.72 on every sale of the console (although which model this figure refers to is not specified) despite a higher price point.

"Since the introduction of the PlayStation 3 in late 2006, Sony has subsidised the price of every console sold, a deficit the company has made up for with game sales and royalties," said Rassweiler.

The single most expensive component within the PS3 continues to be the Blu-ray drive at USD 66, followed by the Nvidia Reality Synthesizer graphics chip at USD 45.82 (down 21 per cent on the version from older PS3 consoles). The cost of the famous Cell chip has also dropped by 19 per cent to USD 37.73.

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