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PS3, Xbox 360 sales "neck and neck"

Analysts suggest close race for second.

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

Games industry analysts believe the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360 are approaching similar global sales.

55 million Xbox 360 units have been sold, putting Microsoft's console just five million units ahead of the PlayStation 3.

The Xbox 360, which launched a year before the PlayStation 3, has been buoyed by the success of ten million-selling motion-sensing add-on Kinect.

But, according to EEDAR's Jesse Divnich, for the first six months of 2011 the PlayStation 3 sold ten per cent more than the Xbox 360 worldwide.

"If one looks at the total amount of sales through the first six months of 2011, the PlayStation 3 has sold about ten per cent more than the Xbox 360, worldwide, so the PlayStation 3 is definitely gaining ground," Divnich told IndustryGamers.

"The Xbox 360 does have a five per cent lead over the PlayStation 3 worldwide, a minimal difference," Divnich continued.

"We do know based on our consumer surveys that the replacement rate among Xbox 360s are slightly higher than the PlayStation 3 (the Nintendo DS is the highest, as it is expected for portable electronics). The PlayStation 3 was a tad bit more technologically future proof from the start compared to the Xbox 360.

"I think if you weigh in those factors, the race is neck and neck."

This month Microsoft declared it will be ahead of other consoles worldwide by the end of 2011. "We expect Xbox 360 to maintain its lead and to be number one worldwide by the end of the year, selling more hardware units than PlayStation and Wii," the company stated.

M2 Research's Billy Pidgeon said the PS3 could bypass the Xbox 360's installed base if Microsoft releases a new console.

"Should Microsoft release a successor to Xbox 360 and shift the pipeline for hardcore games over to the new consoles, that would be a possible scenario by which PS3 could bypass Xbox 360's active installed base," Pidgeon said.

"This scenario would give PS3 the opportunity to soak up the hardcore sector."

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