"Firmly in third" indicates there has never been a month, a week, a day, or a second where the PS3 had more total sales than the Xbox 360. It's been playing catch up for 7 years. That is why I said "Firmly in third".The two articles give dates of Oct 18th (360) and Nov 2nd (PS3). That's only two weeks, and covers the manufacturers' supply for the Thanksgiving shopping mania here in the US. Even the site I linked put the total sales for the two consoles within 2 million of each other.
Measuring by official statements or by some random website the sales numbers for 360 and PS3 are close. The phrase "firmly in third" doesn't describe this situation.