UPDATE 1ST JULY: Microsoft's Phil Spencer, as if in conversation with Sony's Jim Ryan, has admitted "we [Xbox] need to do better in Europe".

He said that in the latest edition of Edge magazine (#282), which is available to subscribers (such as Videogamer) now.

"When I look globally," he added, "mainland Europe is definitely an area we want to focus on.

"Sony does a really good job in those markets ... . I watch what they do because they do a lot of good things, and I want to make sure that we're being smart about succeeding."

The next big opportunity for Microsoft to convince Europe about Xbox is Gamescom in Germany in early August (5th-9th). It's a stage Microsoft will have to itself, with Sony opting out.

Spencer promised we'd see Platinum Games' Scalebound as well as Crackdown and Quantum Break at the show.

ORIGINAL STORY 30TH JUNE: Sony Europe president Jim Ryan is bullish - to say the least - about PlayStation 4 performance in Europe.

"We have a very significant market leadership," he told VG247. "Well, we have market leadership in every country in Europe, and have very significant market leadership in continental Europe. Extremely significant. I don't think market share's any less than 70 per cent, and frequently greater than 90 per cent in continental Europe."

PlayStation 4 passed 2m sales in the UK in May. Xbox One passed 1m sales in the UK in November.

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But which console is her pick?

PlayStation is historically strong in Europe, and when I visited Poland I was told (anecdotally I'm afraid) the sales gap was even more exaggerated there. Eurogamer Poland said there were no official numbers available. Eurogamer Germany told me PS4 had sold 1.6m units there as of 31st March 2015. Eurogamer Spain told me Sony Spain boss James Armstrong mentioned 700,000 PS4 sales at E3. Portugal's numbers are much smaller, the PS4 having passed 100,000 units there according to Eurogamer Portugal.

Bear in mind that Microsoft didn't launch Xbox One across all of Europe when the console first appeared, in autumn 2013. Only the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and Ireland were involved. Poland and other regions in Europe had to wait until September 2014 for their launch. PlayStation 4, on the other hand, was available in all of those countries by end of 2013.

Sony's latest financial results show 22.3m PS4 consoles have been sold worldwide, but Xbox One sales are harder to come by as Microsoft isn't gloating. The last real total is from November - 10 million shipped - which not only makes it out of date but also a bit misleading (shipped). By March 2016, Sony expects to have sold around 38m PS4s.

Both PS4 and Xbox One are outselling their predecessors at comparable times in their lifecycles - the PS4 is even outpacing the PS2, which represents a high watermark for Sony's console success. That old console has sold more than 155m units today.

Sony is just about to launch (15th July) a 1TB PS4 console in Europe dubbed the Ultimate Player Edition. All that is different is 500GB extra storage, and it's selling for around 349.99 - GameStop still has a ludicrously low price of 289.97.

Sony also announced revised PS4 hardware, which is lighter and less power hungry and has a matte finish on the HDD bay cover. It should be out now in Japan and will be "followed by North America / Europe / Asia countries and regions". No specific timings beyond that were given.

Microsoft unveiled a 1TB version of its console recently too. It's out now also for 349.99.

Mind you, you don't need to buy either new console in order to upgrade your storage. Xbox One allows you to plug another drive in via USB, whereas PS4 allows you to completely swap the existing one out. And you can grab a 2TB SSD drive for 60 these days. Here's a Digital Foundry guide on cheaply upgrading your PS4.

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About the author

Robert Purchese

Robert Purchese

Senior Staff Writer

Bertie is senior staff writer and Eurogamer's Poland-and-dragons correspondent. He's part of the furniture here, a friendly chair, and reports on all kinds of things, the stranger the better.

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