Sony's PlayStation 3 outsold Nintendo's Wii game console in Japan in November for the first time, raising the prospect that Sony might regain its dominance in the global videogame market.
Sony sold 183,217 PS3 in Japan in the four weeks to November 25, topping sales of 159,193 Wii consoles, according to game magazine publisher Enterbrain, a watcher of trends in the sector.
Sony dominated the game industry for about a decade with previous generations of its PlayStations but lost its crown to the low-cost Wii with its new idea of a motion sensor in the control unit.
Analysts said the latest data was encouraging for the prospects of the PS3, but it was too early to paint a rosy picture for the Sony machine.
Some months saw 5-6 times as many Wii units sold as PS3s in Japan, an important battleground for the Japanese console makers and U.S. rival, Microsoft and its Xbox 360 console.
The PS3 was hampered by a scarcity of strong game titles and a high price tag, but Sony said more games were now available and it has cut prices.
Sales have also been boosted by a new mid-range model with a 40-gigabyte hard disk drive, the company said.
In a bid to breathe vigor back into Wii sales, Nintendo will launch a "Wii Fit" home fitness game in Japan on Saturday.
The new game features a pressure-sensing mat called "Wii Balance Board," which looks like a bathroom scales and can sense when a person moves and leans, enabling players to "head" virtual soccer balls and experience ski jumping on a TV screen.