Japan's Sony Corp <6758.T> posted a 5.9 percent fall in October-December operating profit on Thursday as a price war hit its television unit and a stronger yen weighed, but it beat analysts' expectations.

The results came a week after Sony unveiled a new portable games device, the Next Generation Portable, aiming to take on Nintendo Co Ltd <7974.OS> and fend off competition from Apple Inc .

The maker of Vaio PCs and PlayStation game consoles reported an operating profit of 137.52 billion yen ($1.68 billion) compared with an average estimate of 127 billion yen in a poll of eight analysts by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Sony left its full-year profit forecast unchanged at 200 billion yen, compared with a consensus estimate of 217 billion yen in a poll of 23 analysts by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Shares in Sony rose 0.7 percent ahead of the announcement, outperforming a 0.3 percent fall in the Nikkei average <.N225>.

($1=81.72 Yen)

(Editing by Anshuman Daga and Edmund Klamann)