Sony has announced they sold a record number of PlayStation 3 systems in Europe during the holiday season, primarily due to a lower retail price.

According to Bloomberg, Sony shipped about 1.2 million consoles to the European region during the five-week period that ended on December 31. Sony president Kazuo Hirai said as much in a Bloomberg Television interview yesterday, and the report is "in line with U.S. shipments" during that same holiday period. Thanks to price cuts and the introduction of the cheaper 40GB PS3 model, Sony can bask in the glow of another record-breaking holiday performance. However, while this brings them closer to hitting their goal of shipping 11 million PlayStation 3 machines by the end of the fiscal year (March 31), analysts still believe they won't quite make it.

In more good news, the higher PS3 sales coupled with the falling production costs should allow Sony to cut operating losses by 90% to $158 million in the fiscal second half, as Nikko Citigroup estimates. As 2008 rolls on, it seems very clear that Sony is in a much better position than they were this time last year.

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