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Pachter: 16.3 million PS3s and 21.3 million 360s in US and Europe by year-end

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Update: Michael's asked us to point out that these figures were given to us in the context of providing reasoning behind his GTA IV sales estimates.

Speaking to videogaming247, Wedbush Morgan's Michael Pachter has predicted year-end console sales figures that will serve as a sobering reminder to Microsoft that Xbox 360 sales appear to be slowing.

"We expect Sony to have an installed base of 16.3 million PS3s by year end, and Microsoft to have an installed base of 21.3 million Xbox 360s (both figures are U.S. and Europe only, not counting Japan)," he said.

The news comes following a European price cut for 360 over Easter and what appears to be a now-ended surge for the machine in the UK, matched ably by an uncut PS3.

Analysts have now called for a 360 drop in the US as an effort to hold back PS3's tide.

Last confirmed global sales figures for Xbox 360 were 17.7 million in January. Sony hasn't yet released global figures for PS3 sales, but the machine was estimated at 10.5 million globally in February, with the firm aiming for a target of 11 million by the end of March.

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