Sony has announced that PlayStation 3 consoles have outsold Microsoft's Xbox 360 across Europe.

Speaking at PlayStation Day in London on 6 May, head of SCEE David Reeves said that over five million PS3s had been sold across the continent.

He added that PlayStation 3 had been outselling the Xbox 360 since October last year.

"The numbers are a testament to the strength of the PlayStation brand", he said.

"We have sold more PlayStation 3s throughout Europe than Xbox 360 even though they launched 16 months before us."

Games consultant Nick Parker said he believed it was "no surprise" that PlayStation had overtaken Xbox in Europe, even despite the large price difference (the cheapest PS3 is currently nearly double the price of the cheapest Xbox).

He said: "The PS3 is far more mass market than 360, which has gone for traditional adult males - and that does not go down well in continental Europe".

He added that Microsoft had promised to widen the appeal in its titles "but never did come up with the goods".

This news backs up a recent report by DFC Intelligence that suggested that Xbox 360 would struggle in the European market.

However, despite Sony's win over Microsoft in Europe, both consoles are still trailing behind in sales figures compared to Nintendo's Wii.