Sony has shifted nearly 800,000 PlayStation 3 consoles in Europe alone. That's what Sir Howard Stringer, Sony's CEO, told the FT yesterday. This means that the console is edging towards selling its four millionth unit worldwide.

"I think [in] the first two days in the UK , £100m revenue changed hands and that's probably the largest consumer electronics sale in history," he told the newspaper.

Sales in Europe are approaching the point where they will overtake those in Japan, where the console has been received with slightly less enthusiasm.

"Perhaps we lived up to the expectations in Europe in a way that possibly we didn't in Japan," he commented.

Hints of the future

Stringer did not however comment on the 82 per cent sales drop which hit the PS3 after its first week on sale in the UK, nor did he talk about the fact that the new PlayStation has failed to sell out, with many consoles still on the shelves across the continent.

He did add that he sees no "reason why we can't use content to drive the sales of hardware as the network connectivity becomes more sophisticated." What he means by content driving hardware sales is not exactly clear, but it does indicate that Sony has a masterplan for using the PS3's awesome power for purposes other than gaming.

Its position in the digital home could well be determined by this strategy. Meanwhile, Yuji Fujimori from analysts Goldman Sachs predicts that the PlayStation 3 is likely to have a 50 per cent of the games console market within 3 years.