TOKYO (AFP) — Shares in Japanese electronics and entertainment giant Sony Corp rose sharply on Tuesday after it reported strong holiday sales of its PlayStation 3 and a Dubai firm said it was buying shares.
Sony shares closed at 5,750 yen, up 250 yen or 4.54 percent on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, with 18.01 million shares changing hands. The performance was well above the 0.58 percent rise on the benchmark Nikkei-225 index.
Sony Computer Entertainment, a group unit, said Monday that sales in North America of the next-generation PlayStation 3 have more than tripled in the crucial Thanksgiving holiday week after a price cut.
"The news of brisk PS3 sales in North America apparently had an effect on Sony shares," said Koya Tabata, analyst at Credit Suisse.
Sony invested heavily in the PlayStation 3 to develop state-of-the-art graphics, but since its release last year it has trailed badly behind Nintendo Ltd's cheaper, user-friendly Wii machine.
Nintendo shares slipped Tuesday by 800 yen or 1.28 percent to 61,700.
Sony, which changed the way the world listens to music with the Walkman, has axed thousands of jobs in recent years in a restructuring drive as it competes with innovative new products like Apple's iPod and Nintendo's Wii.
Kazuharu Miura, analyst at Daiwa Securities, said share prices may have also received a boost from the announcement by Dubai International Capital that it is buying shares in Sony.
Owned by the government of Dubai, one of seven members of the oil-rich United Arab Emirates, the investment firm said Monday it has bought a "substantial" stake in Sony without disclosing the value.
A Sony spokesman declined to comment on the size of the purchase.
In an additional boost, Sony said Monday that sales of its new PlayStation Portable handheld players reached the one million mark within two months, a quicker pace than the earlier version which was released at the end of 2004.
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