Sony's 6.5 million PS3 unit sales in the Christmas quarter have taken the machine to a global total of 33.5 million consoles sold, now merely 5.5 million units behind Microsoft's last announced global 360 figure of 39 million.
Sony maintained its target for 13 million machines sold in the current fiscal year today, with the total for the nine months ending December 31 standing at 10.8 million units.
Assuming Sony hits its goal, it will have achieved a third straight annual unit sale increase. It moved 3.5 million PS3s in FY06, rising to 9.1 in FY07 and then to 10.1 in FY08.
Sony said this morning that it sold 6.5 million PS3s in the three months ending December 31, a rise of almost 45 percent over the previous year.
The gap between PS3 and 360 on a global level is now closing. Microsoft said at CES last month that 39 million 360s have been sold globally.
The figure was an update on passing the 30 million milestone announced at the end of May 2009.
SCEA's Peter Dille said only yesterday that the company is "very confident" its console will pass Microsoft's this generation.
Recent figures support Dille's chest-puffing. Year-end NPD numbers showed US 360 growth basically flattened in 2009, while PS3 moved forward over 20 percent on the back of a hardware revision and price cut.
Microsoft said in July last year it had sold 11.2 million consoles in its FY09 - ending June 30 - compared to 8.7 million in the previous 12 months.