When Sony Computer Entertainment released the PlayStation 4 in November of 2013, it was a smash debut with over one million consoles sold in America in just one day. By the end of December that figure had already hit 2.1 million consoles sold. Japan’s Sony has just released current sales figures through February 8, 2014 from industry tracker the NPD Group. The now 3.5 million consoles purchased by consumers worldwide represent a big win for Sony and with a majority of positive console reviews; PlayStation 4 can be tallied as a win for gamers as well.
Sony’s PS4 sales are almost double the sales of Microsoft’s Xbox One at 3.6 million and have already exceeded Sony’s goal of five million consoles sold by the end of March, 2014. With the official release of the PS4 in Japan coming up in just a few days, sales numbers are sure to rise giving Sony even more of a winning lead over its competitors.
Gamers in Japan have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of the PS4, with Japan’s release date scheduled later than in North America, Latin America, Asia and Europe due to a lack of Japanese focused games. According to Mark Cearny, PS4’s chief architect, Sony did not want to release the PS4 in Japan until there was “a good line-up of titles” available to Japanese gamers.
Andrew House, the CEO of Sony thinks the momentum of the PS4 will get stronger with continued growth and on Sony’s behalf he said, “…we are extremely grateful for the continued passion and support of PlayStation fans.” Given the fact that Sony recently informed investors that a 1.1 billion dollar loss was expected for their 2013/2104 fiscal year, Sony may actually be counting on the passion and support of PS4 fans to see them through difficult financial times. The company has been in a restructuring phase as it has lost money in both the computer and television market – areas where Sony has not been able to compete in a winning fashion.
Reviewers and gamers all have their own unique performance checklists that determine whether a new console is a winner or loser, from the operating system to whether the appearance of the console is “l33t” – or in non-gamer lingo, “elite” or exceptional. The PlayStation 4 has been described as winning a “Miss World” beauty pageant.
Molly Wood from The New York Times laid out in non-technical language an in-depth comparison of the Xbox One and the PS4. She looked at function, including the capabilities of the two consoles to stream and play media and also at what is often the highest priority of gamers, easy access to gaming with a streamlined setup, a minimum of downloads and minimal additional costs.
Wood said the Xbox One was “larger, heavier and uglier” than its predecessor the Xbox 360 and that the main flaw of the console was that it was simply too much work. From a parent’s perspective, she said that her six-year-old son initially loved the voice command aspect of the Xbox One but since it rarely recognized his voice, he soon lost interest.
On the other hand, the PS4 was “a delight to set up” and the navigation and menu screens were “startlingly fast” and very responsive. It was her final determination that the PS4 was the better console of the two.
Selling 3.6 million units even without the market in Japan is one of the most impressive gaming console releases ever and Sony has scored a big win with both the PlayStation 4 and gamers globally.
By Alana Marie Burke
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