Rob Fahey of GamesIndustry.biz writes: In the past weeks, we've seen confirmation that the great wheel of commerce is still turning for the games business. This, after all, is the month when the next-gen (which is slowly but surely establishing itself as the current-gen) started writing its name in black ink, with all three of the major platform holders - Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo - reporting that their games businesses are now profitable.
For Nintendo, it's business as usual. The company, which has been in the toy and game business for over a century, has only ever once reported a quarterly loss. Admittedly, the scale of its present success is rather new and exciting for the Kyoto-based firm; on the back of a major increase in its sales projections for the year, analysts expect Nintendo's stock to continue to grow, further cementing its position as newfound darling of the Nikkei stock exchange.
For Sony, it's a partial exoneration of the firm's strategy. Despite the negative press which has surrounded the PS3 in the past year, and the deep losses incurred by Sony Computer Entertainment in launching the new console, the firm's games business has never really been in that much trouble. Cash has continued to roll in thanks to the PlayStation 2's ongoing success, while the PSP, despite playing second fiddle to Nintendo's DS to a large extent, has also enjoyed a healthy measure of success and profitability in the past year.
It's for Microsoft, however, that the step into the black is most significant. The Home and Entertainment Division, whose primary occupant is its videogame efforts, has been leaking red ink all over Microsoft's financial results since the inception of the Xbox. A small respite occurred around the launch of Halo 2, when massive sales of the game pushed the firm into profit - and this was promptly repeated in the September quarter of last year, thanks to the launch of Halo 3.