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Microsoft's entertainment division weathers a rough quarter

While Microsoft remains in the black, its entertainment division -- which includes its Xbox properties and services -- appears to currently be operating at a loss ahead of the Xbox One launch.
Microsoft released its quarterly earnings statement today, and while overall the company remains in the black, its Entertainment and Devices division -- which includes, among other things, its Xbox properties and services -- appears to currently be operating at a loss. As of the end of September, Microsoft reported a consolidated revenue of $18.53 billion, from which it derived an operating income of $6.3 billion, with its business and Windows divisions contributing the lion's share of this income. Consolidated revenue for the entertainment division was marginally up from the same financial period in 2012 ($2.07 billion versus $1.95 billion), but this quarter's income from the entertainment division ran at a loss of $15 million, a year-on-year drop of $36 million versus the same three-month financial period in 2012. The loss isn't entirely surprising, given that Microsoft is presently preparing for the launch of its next generation game hardware, the Xbox One, which is scheduled for release in 13 markets on November 22nd. "Our devices and services transformation is progressing and we are launching a wide range of compelling products and experiences this fall for both business and consumers," Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer reminded investors, maintaining a positive outlook for the upcoming quarter. "We are seeing lots of consumer excitement for Xbox One."

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