Chris Lewis, VP for Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business in the EMEA region, has told GamesIndustry.biz that he's very clear on exactly who has the console lead between Sony and Microsoft in Europe - and he says that the third party numbers prove it.
According to data from GfK Chart-Track, says Lewis, the Xbox 360 is ahead by "approximately 1 million units" across Europe, the Middle East and Africa - a common grouping of territories, although Sony tends to talk about PAL regions instead, which also includes Australia and New Zealand.
But regardless of that, and the recent confusion surrounding the next-gen console leadership - after Nintendo - he's definite that Microsoft is beating Sony in the UK and mainland Europe.
"There has been some confusion, but I'm not confused," he said. "Let me say we're confident that we talk about numbers that are meaningful customer numbers, whether they be GfK- or Chart-Track-generated, or otherwise, but they are numbers about shipments into the market, numbers that represent our performance in Europe, the Middle East and Africa - they're not PAL territories in totality, so the numbers I talk about don't include Australia and New Zealand for instance.
"But certainly across the territories that I'm responsible for, all of the data points that I've referenced I'm very confident about. It's really based on legitimate external data sources as much as anything - because it's always easy to talk about your own internal numbers, and we try to encourage people to use some of the analyst data, but also the likes of GfK and Chart-Track - very clearly customer and consumer data points, not necessarily manufacturing data points."
And on the UK and mainland Europe, specifically, he left no room for confusion: "If you look right across my area of responsibility, every data point that I've got, which I trust - and data points we've always used - put us approximately 1 million units ahead in the aggregate."
However, he was quick to play down the any suggestion of arrogance, noting that the company was "highly respectful" of its hardware competitors, and stating his belief that the feeling was mutual.
"It's not about us necessarily fixating on Sony - we like a target to run at, and a barometer of success, and we see Sony most closely aligned to our own platform," he explained. "Therefore we intend to measure our success in some way versus what they've doing."
The second part of the GamesIndustry.biz interview with Chris Lewis, in which he also talks about Microsoft's view on European currency fluctuations and whether or not price changes are planned as a result, is now live.