Hirai: PS3 sales "better" than expected

Wants 100 per cent of owners on PSN.

Kazuo Hirai, the overlord of PlayStation, has announced that global PlayStation 3 sales for this financial year are on track to reach 15 million.

"As of the end of August, sales look a bit better than we expected," Hirai told Reuters at the Tokyo Game Show.

They certainly were. PlayStation 3 has recorded an enviable 13 months of consistent growth in the US, and is the best selling console in Japan this year (Media Create sales data courtesy of NeoGAF).

That turnaround in sales was started by the PS3 Slim last year. However, we heard this morning that Microsoft's Xbox 360 Slim has sold even faster during its first three months in US shops. Can Microsoft's Xbox 360 stay globally ahead? As of the end of June, Microsoft had shipped 41.7 million consoles globally and Sony had shipped 38.1 million PS3s.

The battle, of course, will be epitomised by the head-to-head launches of PlayStation Move (tomorrow) and Kinect (10th November).

Hirai's also confident that the PlayStation Network and Sony's insistence of a 3D future will come into play. He told Reuters that 80 per cent of PlayStation 3s bought were hooked up to PSN, compared to Microsoft's 23 million Xbox Live users (as of January 2010). Hirai won't rest until 100 per cent of PS3 owners are online.

He also had another bash at Nintendo's 3DS. "We want consumers to enjoy 3D in the best possible environment," Hirai said. "At this stage, this is only possible on the big screen, with glasses."

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