Sony’s PlayStation 3 console is now a mere 3 million units behind Microsoft’s Xbox 360 in the pathetically named Console War™. According to newly released data from each platform holder, PS3 has sold 41.6 million units worldwide, compared to Xbox 360’s 44.6 million units.
Recent sales make happy reading for Sony also: since May 2010, 5.6 million PS3s have been sold, compared to 4.3 million Xbox 360s.
This isn’t necessarily a surprise. Previous reports have indicated that the PS3 was slowly overturning the Xbox 360’s headstart, and now one analyst is predicting Sony’s tortoise will grab second place (behind Nintendo’s all-conquering Wii) from Microsoft’s hare by the end of 2012. Take the mic, EEDAR’s Jesse Divnich:
“Worldwide, Sony will eventually take the lead from Microsoft, likely by the end of 2012. North America is a tougher challenge, and as we have seen lately Microsoft’s lead is widening. I don’t know if the PlayStation 3 will ever overtake the Xbox 360 in North America. Maybe 2014? 2016?”
Of course, as Divnich later points out, third place doesn’t seem so bad this generation. While Nintendo’s GameCube suffered from its third place finish in the last console generation, it only sold around 22 million units. With years left in the tank, both the PS3 and Xbox 360 have almost doubled that, and have a better software tie-in ratio (that is, how many games every console owner is buying).
So, could this be the first console generation where three platforms sell 75 million+ units each? The Wii’s already made it!