Sony Corp <6758.T> posted a loss for a fourth consecutive quarter, hit by sluggish cellphone sales and as it cut prices of its PlayStation 3 game console, but it narrowed its full year loss forecast.

Sony, which vies with Samsung Electronics Co <005930.KS> in LCD TVs and Canon Inc <7751.T> in digital cameras, swung to an operating loss of 32.6 billion yen ($357.5 million)in July-September from a profit of 11.05 billion yen.

The result is better than the consensus of a 59.2 billion yen loss in a poll of five analysts by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Last month, Sony launched a cheaper version of the PS3 to better compete with Microsoft Corp and Nintendo Co Ltd <7974.OS>. The move put pressure on the company's profitability, but spurred console sales ahead of the key holiday season, brightening long-term prospects of the game operation.

For the year ending March 2010, Sony cut its operating loss forecast to 60 billion yen from 110 billion yen. That compares with the consensus estimate of a 77.5 billion yen loss and a 227.78 billion yen loss a year earlier.

Shares in Sony, which offers Cyber-shot digital cameras and Bravia flat TVs, have gained 41 percent since the start of the year through Thursday, outperforming a 28 percent rise in the electrical machinery index <.IELEC.T>.

(Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Anshuman Daga)