A new report from data firm Strategy Analytics has PS3's install base exceeding Xbox 360's on a global basis by 500,000, pushing the Microsoft console down into third place behind PS3 and Wii.
While Wii still maintains the largest under-the-TV seller this generation with an "active install base" of 75.5 million units worldwide, by the end of 2010, PS3 reached an install base of 43.4 million compared to Xbox 360's 42.9 million.
The last confirmed sales for the three consoles, as released by their respective manufacturers, have 360 slightly ahead of PS3, with 50.8 million units moved compared to Sony's 47.9 million.
Wii has lifetime sales of 84.6 million.
Strategy Analytics claims that Xbox 360's lack of support in Europe and Asia "acts as a drag on its global performance," despite the sales boost gained from the release of Kinect late last year.
"While the Kinect peripheral has given a boost to Microsoft’s Xbox 360 strategy, the console’s performance outside of the US continues to disappoint,” said the report's author, analyst Jia Wu.
"Global demand for Sony’s PS3 has exceeded that of the Xbox 360 in each of the past two years, and we expect that to continue over the coming years."
The analyst believes that should Microsoft focus more on Kinect and "continue to innovate around its motion sensor technology," as it will become "increasingly relevant in the smart home era."
It was also predicted in the report that global sales of Xbox 360 will grow 13.7 million by the end of 2011, while PS3 will expand by 15.7 million units. Wii is expected to continue to decline.
Wu said Nintendo could counter shrinkage by launching "a Wii successor within the next 12 months."
Earlier today, GameStop issued a report stating that PS3 had a 1 million-strong lead over Xbox 360 in Europe, with PS3′s 14.7 million units ahead of 360′s 13.7 million.
Thanks, Gamasutra, and thanks to Gama_888 for the headline.