Speaking to industry bible MCV
David Reeves, president of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, said, "I am confident that in PAL territories our installed base is 300,000 units ahead of Xbox 360?. This comes, apparently, from the company's internal figures.
While Reeves is not disputing Microsoft's claim that over November
the 360 outsold the PS3, the timing of Sony's boast is clearly not a coincidence.
Unfortunately, it doesn't make it very easy to compare figures. For starters, Sony doesn't give a hard figure, despite the fact that it clearly has one. Microsoft, for its part, says it has sold "more than seven million consoles in Europe". So Sony's sold somewhere between seven and seven and a half million then, depending on what Microsoft classes as "more than", right? Quite possibly not.
In today's press release Microsoft is talking about Europe. Reeves is talking about PAL territories - which includes, according to Sony, "104 territories across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Oceania", (Oceania including Australia, New Zealand and several smaller Pacific islands).
So, 300,000 more PS3s than 360s might have been sold in PAL territories, but that doesn't help us see which is selling better in Europe, which seems to be what Microsoft wants to talk about. Or is it?
That "more than seven million consoles in Europe" quote comes from Microsoft's announcement this morning. Just last week, SPOnG got confused
because we'd seen that figure, but Microsoft's David Gosen had said just a few days before that seven million 360s had been sold in EMEA - Europe, the Middle East and Africa. So which was it? We got hold of Microsoft and were assured, "In case of console numbers it?s 7m in EMEA." But then that seven million figure popped up again this morning, so... which is it again?
Is it really too much to ask for transparent? Like-for-like figures relating to agreed-upon territories so that consumers can see how well each console is doing and make informed purchasing decisions based on that? Really?