For Sony, the PlayStation 3 has always been a loss-maker – its parts costing more than the price consumers pay for it on the shop shelf.

Two years ago, when it was first released, the PS3 cost around $800 (£540) to make and retailed at just $600 (£400).

Two years on and the margins have significantly shrunk but, according to Business Week, the console is still losing money for Sony – around $50 (£35) per machine.

2009 will be profit-making

These figures have been taken from research conducted by iSupply, who are putting a positive spin on the news, believing that at this rate Sony will make a profit in 2009 – three years after the console was first introduced.

iSuppli analyst Andrew Rassweiler, said about the findings: "Every time we do a teardown, it's sort of backward-looking.

"Sony is one step ahead of us and probably has plans to re-spin the hardware to reduce the costs yet again."

The research firm also noted that the reason prices will eventually drop for the console is because it is now made with much fewer parts.

In 2006, the PS3 contained no less than 4,048 parts. At the end of 2008, this number has dropped by nearly a third, with new PS3s containing just 2,820 bits.