Much has been made about the PS3's slow start, but in all fairness, too many people are comparing it to the PS2's dominance. The last generation was a blowout in favor of Sony's system, but nobody really believed that would happen again, what with Microsoft's debut firmly behind them and Nintendo going a new – and profitable – direction with the Wii. Furthermore, just how far behind is the PS3? Really? Well, if you simply look at the hardware sales charts, it's not.

This chart aligns the PS3 and Xbox 360 launches; it's current, so it includes the first 10 months of the PS3 and Wii's existence, and the first 23 months for the Xbox 360. We forget the 360 faced plenty of issues during its first 10 months, and that was without any competition. In the face of both the 360 and Wii, the PS3 has managed to sell just about the same number of units up to this point. And now that we have the price cut and the introduction of the "entry level" 40GB PS3, it seems very possible the PS3 could end up selling more units than the 360 in its first year. The holiday season is almost upon us, and of course, that will tell the final tale of the tape.

As you can see by the chart, the Wii is outstripping the competition, but analysts expect a very close three-way race throughout most of this generation. But we just wanted to point out that, despite all the negative PS3 press (which has admittedly died down over the past few months), the overall sales numbers are right on par with its primary competition when comparing the first year.

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