For its fiscal first quarter, which covers the months of April to June, Sony booked a net profit of ¥21.2 billion, which is equivalent to about $205 million.

The positive first quarter was a surprise for the Japanese electronics giant. Analyst expectations pegged Sony to report a loss of ¥33.5 billion, equivalent to about $323 million, due to the effect of the earthquakes that struck Kumamoto, where Sony has a major factory for image sensors, coupled by weak sales for the component.

Sony expects its image sensor division to remain weak over the first half of its fiscal year due to slow demand from one of its major customer. Saving the quarter for the company, however, is the PlayStation.

According to the company's quarterly results [pdf], its game and network services division raked in revenues of $3.2 billion for the quarter, which is a 14.5 percent increase compared with the same quarter in the previous fiscal year. The division also generated an operating income of about $427 million, which is an increase of 126.3 percent year over year and making up 78 percent of the $546 million in operating income that Sony reported for the quarter.

The PlayStation 4 continues to prove itself as one of the most important divisions for Sony, with the significant increase said to be due to higher software sales for the gaming console, including purchases made through the online PlayStation Network.

Sony might have to rely even heavier on the PlayStation 4 moving forward to boost its business, and with the pending release of the PlayStation 4 Neo, it remains to be seen how high the game and network services division can take the company.

The mobile division of Sony, however, is on the other side of fortune. While the business posted a profit of $4 million for the fiscal first quarter, finally back into being a profitable division compared to the $221 million loss in the previous year's corresponding quarter, it was only able to achieve the feat through a massive downsizing.

Sony's mobile business for the quarter is equivalent to one-third of the previous fiscal year's first quarter, selling only 3.1 million smartphones compared with 7.2 million units. The company added that it had a positive impact of ¥4.4 billion, equivalent to $42 million, from fluctuations in foreign exchange rates, which means that the downsizing was not even the only cause of the swing to profit for the mobile division.

With such a setup for the mobile division, however, it seems that it will be able to generate just enough profit to keep going, which should quell calls for Sony to leave the smartphone industry for good.

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