It's been a trying first year for the PlayStation 3, with Sony's console being routinely bested on the industry tracking NPD Group's US monthly retail sales charts by the Wii, the Xbox 360, and on particularly rough months, the Game Boy Advance. Things improved a bit with the July announcement of a price drop for the 60GB PS3 (and the subsequent news that the drop was effectively temporary) quickly doubled sales of the console, according to Sony.
Now a pair of analysts is predicting that when the NPD Group releases its July sales figures next Thursday, they'll show that Sony's console outsold the Xbox 360 for the first time since its release last November. Wedbush Morgan Securities' Michael Pachter and the SimExchange's Jesse Divnich have released their expectations for July sales, and they've pegged PS3 sales at 160,000 and 165,000, respectively. (Divnich's hardware numbers were derived from the fluctuations of the SimExchange's own user-driven prediction market.)