PS3 leads 2011 European hardware sales

Only console to noticeably improve on 2010.

The PlayStation 3 has been the best selling console in Europe for the majority of 2011, according to Nintendo.

A graph based on Nintendo's internal numbers shows Sony's console significantly ahead at the beginning of the year, as well as in recent weeks. Wii sales spiked sharply around the May price cut, and Xbox 360 sales spiked in July.

As of week 40 (beginning 3rd October), PS3 has climbed to nearly 3 million sales in Europe, according to Nintendo's data. Wii and Xbox 360 sales area almost exactly on 2 million.

"Looking at the cumulative sales transition from the beginning of the year, the sales of PS3 are exceeding those of last year," Nintendo's president Satoru Iwata observed. "But Wii's sales showed a year-on-year loss.

"Xbox 360 is selling well in the US, but the transition is nearly the same as last year in Europe."

Nintendo's data was gathered from "independent market research companies in European countries".

European hardware sales data, unlike in Japan (weekly Media Create reports) and the US (monthly NPD reports), is much harder to come by.

Eurogamer attempted to verify the data with Gfk Chart-Track, which publishes an annual European sales report. But the data collector said processing the yearly numbers often takes from year-end until March, due to the amount of European territories involved. Therefore, GfK Chart-Track had no data at hand to compare Nintendo's numbers to.

In Japan, PS3 sales clearly lead Wii for the entirety of 2011, although the two were neck-and-neck for a week in August.

In the US, Xbox 360 rules the roost, with PS3 and Wii jostling for position below.

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