PS3's slow sales spurs $1.9 bil operating loss

Slow sales for the PlayStation 3 are taking their toll on Sony’s U.S. vidgame division, which laid off almost 80 of its approximately 1,600 employees Wednesday.

The high-powered and expensive PS3 is selling significantly fewer units than Nintendo’s lower-priced Wii in both the U.S. and Japan and is also behind Microsoft’s Xbox 360 in the U.S. Sony’s handheld PSP device, while doing better, is also lagging behind Nintendo’s DS.

Last quarter, Sony’s videogame division had an operating loss of $1.9 billion.

However, sales of the PlayStation 2, which is still available and has a very broad library of games, remain healthy.

“In an effort to accurately align the company to meet the changing needs of our consumers and of our industry, Sony Computer Entertainment America has found it necessary to analyze our current business and to restructure the company as necessary to continue our standing as the market leader,” company said in a statement.

A spokesman wouldn’t specify the exact number of layoffs or which divisions were hit but said no games or projects that have already been announced would be effected.

News was first reported on videogame blog Kotaku.

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