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Analyst figures show worldwide PS3 install base bigger than 360

Declining Wii still in global first as Sony edges second in Europe

A series of reports from various sources have shown that Sony's PlayStation 3 is now likely to have a larger global install base than its Microsoft rival, although both still trail behind Nintendo's Wii in all territories.

Market research firm Strategy Analytics published its global figures, indicating that the PS3 surpassed Xbox 360 in lifetime sales at the end of 2010, reaching 43.4 million. The same report lists Xbox 360's install base at that time as 42.9 million. Nintendo's Wii stands well clear at 75.5 million.

In the UK and US, Microsoft is still winning the tussle with Sony, but in Europe and Asia, the figures claim PS3 is more popular. A separate report, from IDG and quoted by GameStop in its recent yearly report, says that there are 14.7 million PS3s in Europe but only 13.7 million 360s.

Quoted in the same GameStop document, sourced from NPD, are figures from the end of 2010 which put 15.4 million PS3s in the US, but 25.4 million Xbox 360s.

"While the Kinect peripheral has given a boost to Microsoft's Xbox 360 strategy, the console's performance outside of the US continues to disappoint," said the author of the Strategy Analytics report, Jia Wu.

"Global demand for Sony's PS3 has exceeded that of the Xbox 360 in each of the past two years, and we expect that to continue over the coming years," Gamasutra quotes the report as saying, recommending that Microsoft "continue[s] to innovate around its motion sensor technology, which will become increasingly relevant in the smart home era."

A similar, UK specific report published yesterday by the ERA showed the PS3 gaining ground on the 360 too, with a declining Wii in first.

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