Sony announced this past week that they have shipped 70 million PlayStation 3 systems worldwide as of November 4, 2012. This puts Sony’s console in an amazingly tight race with the Xbox 360, which hit the same milestone on September 30, 2012.
While Microsoft easily dominates this generation’s HD console sales in the United States, Sony is believed to have been much more competitive across Europe — Specific European sales are not made public, however, reports generally put the two systems on equal footing in terms of install base — and they have been able to close the worldwide gap with their Japanese PS3 sales. According to Media Create data for the week ending November 11, 2012 the PlayStation 3 stood at 8.58 million units sold life-to-date in Japan, compared to a mere 1.6 million Xbox 360 consoles.
Sony also reported that they have shipped 15 million PlayStation Move units LTD as of November 11th, which is well behind Microsoft’s 20 million Kinect units.
It is also worth noting that this race between Sony and Microsoft is a competition for the first place loser (more commonly known as 2nd place). Nintendo easily topped both console manufacturers this generation with an impressive 97.18 million Wii systems shipped worldwide as of September 30, 2012.
Even though Wii sales have slowed drastically over the course of this year, and the console will almost certainly stall out completely after the launch of the Wii U, it is hard to envision a situation where the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 will be able to catch up before the launch of their successors.