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Sony's PlayStation 4 has nearly outsold the PlayStation 3

The electronics giant sold 9 million PlayStation 4 consoles during the final quarter of 2017, it announced Friday, bringing the total to 76.5 million.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Sony's PlayStation 3 sales stand at around 80 million -- which means its successor, the current gen PlayStation 4, will soon surpass it. 

The Japanese electronics giant sold 9 million PlayStation 4 consoles from October through December, it said on Friday in its latest quarterly earnings report. Sales for the console were at 67.5 million as of Sept. 30 2017, according to Sony's previous quarterly earnings report, bringing the total to 76.5 million.

The PlayStation 2 remains Sony's best-selling console, with over 150 million units sold. These figures come days after Nintendo on Wednesday revealed the Switch, released last March, is up to 14.8 million in sales. Sales of Microsoft's Xbox One are estimated by VGChartz to be around 36 million.

Overall revenue for Sony was up 11 percent, to $23.6 billion, compared to the same quarter last year. Operating income was boosted 239 percent, to $3.1 billion. It's a success story for Sony, a company whose future wasn't looking so bright less than a decade ago, and it comes hours after news broke that Kazuo Hirai will step down as CEO and take up a role as chairman. He'll be replaced by current Sony CFO Kenichiro Yoshida.  

Sony said it sold 4 million Xperia phones during the quarter, which is down considerably from the 5.1 million phones it sold during the same time period last year. Camera sales are also down, from 1.6 million during the quarter in 2016 to 1.35 million in 2017. 

This was more than made up for by Sony's image sensor sales, mostly to competing phone brands, which jumped from 172 million to 200 million. 

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