Sony Computer Entertainment America president Jack Tretton may be spending his first full day back in the office hanging up the bunting, as reports suggest that the PlayStation 4 managed to close out 2013 in front of the Xbox One in North America – despite the platform holder launching in more territories than its closest competitor.

Sources had indicated over Black Friday and the busy festive period that the Japanese giant was struggling to get enough consoles onto store shelves, but after triumphing in the November NPD report, Baird & Company analyst Colin Sebastian has suggested that the PlayStation maker’s new super machine is likely to still command a small sales advantage in the region.

“The PS4 clearly bounced back from our mixed supply chain checks, and appears to have a slight momentum edge among core gamers, as demonstrated by premium prices on eBay and persistent out-of-stock reports at retail,” the forecaster wrote as part of a new report, adding that GameStop sales data shows that Sony’s device beat out the Xbox One by a slender margin in 2013.

However, the trends interpreter rightly admitted that it’s too early to predict a winner, and stressed that a hotly contested battle between the two platform holders would benefit both retailers and third-party publishers. “A ‘two horse’ console race would be positive for software publishers and retailers if [the companies] are forced to compete aggressively for market share,” he said.

Nevertheless, Sony will be particularly pleased with this turn of events, as it was considered the underdog in North America right up until the PS4’s launch. Of course, as we stressed in our recent New Year’s resolutions article, the company still has a lot of work ahead of it – and it will need to remain sharp if it aims to maintain its slender headstart.

[via vg247.com, worldsfactory.net]