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Sony's games business bolstered by rising PS4 sales

It's been a good year for Sony's Game and Network Services division, with sales, operating revenue, and operating income all growing year-over-year. 

It's been a good year for Sony's Game and Network Services division -- which handles the company's video game operations -- with sales, operating revenue, and operating income all growing year-over-year. 

Sales and operating revenue for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2016, increased by 11.8 percent, rising to 1.6 trillion yen ($13.7 billion) from 1.4 trillion yen ($12.8 billion) in 2015.

Operating income also received a welcome boost, climbing to 88.7 billion yen ($785 million) from 48.1 billion yen ($443.8 million) -- an increase of 84.3 percent. 

The company attributed its upturn in fortunes to a significant rise in PlayStation 4 software and hardware sales, with the company shipping 17.7 million units of the PS4 this fiscal year, compared with 14.8 million in 2015. 

It's also worth noting that this year Sony didn't have to account for a 11.2 billion yen write-down of PS Vita and PS TV components, as it did in 2015. 

As it stands, Sony is unable to offer a clear forcast for the financial year ending March 31, 2017, due to a string of earthquakes in Japan, which have forced the company to suspend operations at its primary manufacturing site in Kumamoto.

Sony will instead announce the forecast for its five main electronic segments, including its Game and Network Services wing, in May.

Across all of Sony's divisions, the company reported profits of 147.8 billion yen ($1.4 billion) for the year, up from the previous year's 126 billion yen ($1.16 billion) loss.

Those profits came from sales revenue of 8.1 trillion yen (~$74.9 billion USD), roughly 1.3 percent less than in the prior year, a drop that Sony attributed to plunging sales in its Mobile Communications business (think: smartphones and mobile components) that were somewhat offest by the uptick in the games business.

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