Sony had a profitable quarter for the Oct.-Dec. 2009 period after four consecutive quarterly losses, reports Industry Gamers.  Sony reported earnings for the quarter as 79.2 billion yen in profit on sales of 2.24 trillion yen.  The company said profits were helped along by the game division, and specifically a spike in PlayStation 3 hardware and software sales.  Sony said it sold 6.5 million PS3 systems in the quarter to reach a worldwide install base of about 33.5 million units.  Industry Gamers calls that a 44 percent quarterly rise.  PS3 software sales jumped by more than 16 percent compared to a year ago, notching 47.6 million units in the quarter.  Sony also credited the division’s performance to lower manufacturing costs for the PS3 Slim, which it introduced as part of a price drop for the system in September 2009.  Other Sony game products saw declines.  Sales for the handheld PSP system fell by nearly a million units from a year ago to 4.2 million units.  Hardware sales for Sony’s still resilient legacy console PlayStation 2 slipped by about 20 percent in quarterly comparison, moving 2.1 million units in the quarter, while the system’s software sales in the same period dropped sharply from 29.7 million a year ago to 11.2 million units.  Read more at Industry Gamers {link no longer active}.