I want to highlight this one in particular:
That jump in PS3 sales in Europe is pretty amazing. The PS3 is outselling the Xbox 360 immediately following the launch of Halo 3, if I'm reading it right. I believe that's following the launch of the 40Gb PS3, and my recollection is that European countries were getting some reasonably decent bundles (like a football game or something).
If we see anything like that when Sony introduces the 40Gb PS3 here, it might be a happy holiday for Sony after all. If they're selling 2-3 times as many PS3s after the 40Gb model was introduced into Europe, that would be comparable to selling 40,000 to 60,000 PS3s per week here. That would put Sony at 160,000 - 240,000 systems per month. During the Holiday 2007, I think you can safely double that, or even triple it.
We won't know how the 40Gb $400 model is really doing February 2008, maybe even March 2008, because Holiday sales will skew the numbers higher than usual. Regardless, it sure is going to be fun to watch.
Sony's current problem is that they said they were done talking about the hardware and worry about the software. Fine, except they're still worrying about the hardware and we haven't seen anything tangible about Home or Game 3.0 or whatnot.
Super Smash Bros will have apparently have user-created maps and a whole method to share and download new ones daily - right now my poster child for the whole "Game 3.0" hype.
It's true, Sony needs the software. They just won't have it until mid-2008. If they can pull things together, they might actually have the best holiday lineup of 2008, but we don't really know what Microsoft is up to lately.
As you said -- this will be a very, very interesting generation of consoles to watch.