Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) sold 18.7 million PlayStation 4 (PS4) systems and other game consoles for the fiscal year to March, the Nikkei business daily said, to Nintendo`s 16.31 million units.
The release of the PS4 in the United States and other markets in November propelled Sony`s fortunes after a disappointing response to the console`s predecessor, the PS3.
Almost seven million PS4`s were sold, but Sony`s overall sales of hardware, including the portable PlayStation Vita, still fell some 20 percent for the fiscal year, the report said.
Nintendo`s console sales slid 31 percent as the portable Nintendo 3DS system failed to entice gamers while the new Wii U also fared poorly, it added.
Sony last topped the console sales list in March 2006 but sales of the PS3 came in below expectations and struggled against Nintendo`s Wii and DS series.
Nikkei said Sony was expected to stay at number one for the rest of the year as Nintendo has few noteworthy releases planned.
Microsoft`s sales rose 16 percent to 11.6 million thanks to the rollout of the popular Xbox One towards the end of 2013, the report added.