Microsoft has announced its financial results for the three months ended September 30th, revealing that the Home and Entertainment division which houses the Xbox project saw a nine per cent rise in revenues.
Revenue for the quarter was $632 million, with the year on year growth being driven by higher than expected sales of the Xbox console during the quarter; however, the console operation continues to operate at a loss despite the higher revenues.
The loss for the unit during the quarter came to $142 million, a significant figure but still a major improvement on the same quarter last year, when the Home and Entertainment division reported a $273 million loss.
Microsoft used the announcement of the results as another chance to champion the recent sales success of Xbox in North America, with senior vice president Robbie Bach pointing out that "Xbox continues to be the only platform to show year-over-year growth, and has now outsold Sony PlayStation 2 for two months in a row in the United States."
While the achievement of Xbox in this regard is certainly impressive, it's also worth pointing out that Sony's console is a year further along the sales curve than Microsoft's, and as such would be expected to see some drop off at this point regardless of competition.
In terms of overall results, Microsoft showed once more why the losses from the Xbox project are only a drop in the ocean for the giant firm - recording $2.9 billion earnings on revenue of $9.2 billion during the three month period, beating both last year's figures and its own projections.
The company currently has $64.4 billion in cash reserves, up from $60.6 billion at the end of June - although it plans to drop that figure in the near future by making a once-off $3 per share payout.