Looks like Sony's closing-in on Microsoft in hardware sales on a worldwide basis according to recently released data.
Per figures obtained from both console holder by IndustryGamers, PS3 has sold 41.6 million units worldwide, and Xbox 360's moved 44.6 million units; thus, the gap between the two consoles consists of a paltry 3 million units.
Back in May, PS3 was 4.4 million units behind the rival 360, which managed to sell an addition 4.3 million units since. Comparatively, however, PS3 sold and addition 5.6 million for the same time frame.
So, the question then becomes: When will PS3 overtake Xbox 360 in the worldwide market?
EEDAR analyst Jesse Divnich believes this will occur by the end of 2012, which he sees as a challenge for the console, considering the gulf in North America is widening at the benefit of Microsoft.
"I don’t know if the PlayStation 3 will ever overtake the Xbox 360 in North America," Divnich told IndustryGamers. "Maybe 2014? 2016? We do know the PlayStation 3 has incredible long-term value as a Blu-ray player, much like the PlayStation 2 did as a DVD player, but with strong competition coming from the digital front, one has to wonder if the PlayStation 3 will receive long retail legs like its predecessor did.
"Unlike previous generations, I don’t foresee third place being a “doom and gloom” scenario. Even with it being in third place now the PlayStation 3 is an incredibly healthy platform. It all comes down to the active installed base; a company can sell as many consoles as it wishes, but if consumers are not actively buying games, they are not part of the installed base’s economic ecosystem. The PlayStation 3 doesn’t have the same problem the GameCube had with its third place finish last generation."
As far as whether Kinect and Move will help promote each peripheral's respective consoles, Divnich believes both are "fantastic products" but the success of of each will come down to marketing.
"I believe both have met the minimum quality threshold set by consumers," said Divnich. "Now, it all comes down to marketing and third-party support, elements we know Microsoft is stronger with, for the moment. But the Move is in the right place, and just because it doesn’t “sell” as many units as the Kinect doesn’t make it an inferior product.
"Long-term, there isn’t any concern about the success of the Move, and much like what we witnessed on the Wii, this will be a slow burner that will eventually realize a large installed base over time."
GameStop, however, is of the belief Kinect will outsell Move this Christmas in the US but one also has to consider MS seems to have put more into marketing the peripheral here than Europe - for the time being. Holiday adverts have yet to reach a fevered pitch, so it's reasonable to expect to be bombarded by both by the time Christmas rolls around.