Sony hides PlayStation 3 sales data as profits fall

Maybe I’m a nerd, but one of the things I look forward to each quarter is the release of Sony’s earnings, because they provide the final data point that we need to update the status of worldwide game console sales — showing how the PlayStation 3 stacks up against the Nintendo Wii and Microsoft’s Xbox 360.

Not anymore, apparently. Releasing its quarterly earnings this morning, Sony for the first time combined PlayStation 3 unit sales numbers with PlayStation 2 unit sales (and also lumped together the PlayStation Vita and PlayStation Portable into their own category). The new reporting technique comes as Sony’s profits slump.

Chalk one up for opacity.

Yes, believe it or not, the PlayStation 2 is still seeing substantial sales, about 25 percent of Sony’s overall home console sales in the previous quarter.

Bottom line, we know that overall sales of the PS2 and PS3 were 2.8 million units for the quarter, down from 3.2 million in the same quarter a year ago, but we don’t know how the PS3 fared individually.

As near as I can tell, extrapolating from the trends over the past year, unit sales of the PS3 accounted for at least 2 million of the overall 2.8 million unit sales — solidly ahead of both the Xbox 360 and the Nintendo Wii, which came in at 1.1 million and 710,000 units for the quarter, respectively.

But without more transparency from Sony, we’re going to stuck be in the realm of estimates and wild-ass guesses for a while when it comes to assessing the state of the worldwide console market.

Previously: Xbox 360 tops Wii and PS3 for 1st time in yearly global sales