- 6 May 08, 20:58 GMT
Sony's declaration that sales of its PlayStation 3 console have now overtaken the Xbox 360 in Europe will make for uncomfortable reading at Microsoft.
I've been chatting with games consultant Nick Parker, who told me that it was "no surprise" that the PS3 is now ahead of the 360.
But let's not forget the near-disastrous launch of PS3 16 months after the 360's debut, lack-luster early titles, production problems, delays, and seeming in-fighting between Sony Europe and America.
This was a textbook example of how not to launch a machine from a position of seeming dominance.
Yet the PlayStation brand has stayed strong enough in Europe to see off the Microsoft machine.
Nick Parker believes Microsoft's inability to widen the appeal of the Xbox 360 beyond the hardcore male gamer has been its undoing.
The worry for Microsoft must be that this is the start of the doomsday scenario they had always feared would come to pass.
Microsoft's gameplan for this generation of consoles has always been simple: get in first, build a lead and then retain it.
The company bust a gut to launch the Xbox 360 before the PlayStation 3, believing its lateness to the market in the last round of machines had cost it dear.
The big question was could the lead the company would accrue be large enough to hold off the inevitable PlayStation charge?
In Europe the answer is no.
In North America, the heartland of Xbox 360, the fight continues.
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