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PlayStation-By-Numbers: PS4 Sells Over 4.2 Million

Sony has put the PlayStation 4's week-long headstart and wider launch to good use.

News by Mike Williams, .

Yesterday, Microsoft announced that the Xbox One has sold over 3 million units since its launch on November 22, 2013. That's a damn good start for any system, but we were left wondering how Sony's numbers matched up with an earlier launch date (November 15, 2013) and a larger number of launch markets (32 countries vs. Xbox One's 13 countries).

Today during the Sony keynote presentation at CES 2014, Sony Computer Entertainment president Andrew House announced that the PlayStation has sold over 4.2 million units since launch. That's an additional 2.1 million in the 35 days since Sony announced the system had sold 2.1 million worldwide. At the Tokyo Games Show in September, House said the company expected to sell 5 million PS4s by the end of March 2014, a number it looks like they'll definitely pass.

Systems sales aren't all that was released in this tale of the tape. From launch until December 31, 2013, 9.7 million PlayStation 4 games were sold, including physical and digital copies. The best-selling titles included Call of Duty: Ghosts, Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, Battlefield 4, FIFA 14, and Killzone: Shadow Fall. Subscriptions to PlayStation Plus were up 90 percent worldwide, but that's probably because online play now requires the service.

Sony is also big on the live-streaming capabilities of the PlayStation 4, noting there have been 800,000 gameplay broadcasts and more than 7.1 million spectator session on Twitch and Ustream. Twitch was happy to announce the between December 23, 2013 and January 3, 2014, 20 percent of Twitch's broadcasters were PlayStation 4 owners.

"Ever since we began working with the major console platform companies, we were confident the integration of live broadcasting to Twitch would be a game changer," said Matthew DiPietro, VP Marketing, Twitch. "Based on our success with PlayStation 4, which currently represents twenty percent of our broadcaster base, our vision was on the mark. We envision a day when broadcasting your gameplay is a ubiquitous piece of the gaming experience. We're well on our way."

So, those folks are pretty excited and Twitch streaming hasn't even come to Xbox One yet.

Sony's PlayStation 4 has yet to launch in the company's home country of Japan, leaving the market to its older platforms and Nintendo's offerings. The Japanese launch is currently scheduled for February 22, 2014, so it'll be interesting to see if Sony can repeat its worldwide success at home.

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Comments 6

  • Avatar for danger.to.others #1 danger.to.others 3 years ago
    I'll say what everyone knows. The reason Xbox launched in only 13 countries is because even they know the amount they'll sell in the rest of the world will be pretty minimal.
    They sell okay across Europe and great in America and more WiiU like the rest of the world (at least with 360).

    I'm glad Microsoft succeed to the point of keeping competition alive, but does anyone really believe they'll be the choice between the majority of console people looking at either PS4 or XB1 as the years go by?
    Those are probably the same people who think WiiU will turn itself around.

    They're both corporations out for money, but Sony simply seems to truly like and appreciate games as an artform more than Microsoft.
    That's what I see, anyway. Sony has more heart underneath it's profit margin.
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  • Avatar for Frosty840 #2 Frosty840 3 years ago
    @danger.to.others I don't like what Microsoft are doing with the XBone, and I won't be buying one myself, but I do think they've got the more appealing device for the mass market.

    Sony might have a better traditional console, yes, but Sony make a whole bunch of different consumer electronic devices.

    What us gamers forget is that the XBone doesn't *just* compete against the PS4, it competes against buying-a-console-and-another-couple-of-media-devices. Sony sells all of those devices. Each of the devices it sells is individually better than an XBone. The Xbone by itself is cheap enough and good enough at doing what those three separate, more expensive devices do that the average consumer will buy it.

    That's really the key to Microsoft's current strategy. I think it's even key to how quickly they backed down on everything they put forward at the E3 Of Doom. They knew right there that they'd just lost the core gamer market, so they gave up on all the tech they were developing to monetise their stake in the core gamer market. They've repositioned their whole effort to the consumer market who don't currently have a console.

    It's why a lot of what they're doing doesn't seem to make sense. It's because they're not talking to us at all.
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  • Avatar for brionfoulke91 #3 brionfoulke91 3 years ago
    I still think Wii-U is the best next gen system, currently. But what's best and what's popular are two different things.

    Even so, I'm happy the PS4 is doing well. I have a Wii-U right now, but I plan to get a PS4 eventually. I'm sure the PS4 will eventually stack up to be a great system, just like every other Playstation did, even if right now good games are very sparse. And I'm sure the X-Bone will continue to suck as much blood out of the market as they can until people learn.
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  • Avatar for Captain-Gonru #4 Captain-Gonru 3 years ago
    I'm curious as to WHERE they allegedly sold all these systems. Every store in my area was restocked on XB1s way more frequently than PS4s (on the order of three or four times more frequently). I just can't quite wrap my head around how they outsold XB1, when retailers had fewer units to sell.
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  • Avatar for docexe #5 docexe 3 years ago
    @Captain Gonru Actually, what you are describing might not imply that retailers had less units to sell, but rather that the demand for the PS4 was indeed bigger than the demand for the XBOne, so retailers sold every PS4 unit almost as soon as they received them, while the Xbox stock sold at a slower rate. Of course, it’s also important to remember that the PS4 was available in more than double than the number of territories on which the Xbox One was available. That’s simply put a massively bigger pool of customers available to sell.

    I have to congratulate Kaz Hirai, Andrew House, Shuhei Yoshida and the rest of the PlayStation and gaming division. When it comes down to it, this “victory” on the holiday period was a case of excellent business acumen. They had the necessary cards available and they played them at the right time.

    That being said, Microsoft is hardly out of the fight, and it is still too early to tell how both consoles will fare in the longer term. You need at least a year of data before you can make any kind of accurate prediction (sadly, that pretty much means that the best case and most optimistic scenario for Nintendo is to sell the Wii U at Gamecube levels). Right now, I think the gap between the PS4 and XBOne will increase during the next few months, due to Sony having the most powerful machine at the lowest price, being available in more territories and the simple fact that there is no way in hell that the One is going to fare better in the Japanese market than the 360 did. But beyond that period, anything can happen.

    The Xbox brand is still the one with most penetration in the US market (which for good and for ill, is still the biggest videogame market in the world), and when it comes to exclusive franchises and 3rd party offerings that are better established in a particular console, Microsoft has an edge over Sony. Games are the biggest differentiator in the end, and while I honestly prefer things like Uncharted, Infamous, Shadow of the Colossus, plus artful smaller games like Journey and JRPG’s over things like Halo, Gears of War, Forza, Fable, COD or anything that requires Kinect… well, it can’t be denied that the later tends to be more popular than the former. Not to mention that, so far, the closest thing that looks like the first killer app for the next generation (Titanfall) is exclusive to Microsoft consoles. On the other hand, a big part of Microsoft strategy also hinges on the Xbox becoming that “one device” that will rule over the living room. If the mass market welcomes it, that will propel their sales forward, if they don’t it could be disastrous for them.

    So really, anything can happen at this point. It's too early to tell who will be the ultimate "victor" of the next gen race.Edited January 2014 by docexe
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  • Avatar for Lync #6 Lync 3 years ago
    @brionfoulke91 I'm with you, but I really don't get the logic of 'internet gamer types'. Wii U comes in for shit for having a supposedly weak launch and launch-window line up, yet PS4 is lauded and hailed as a great success for what? 2 exclusives at launch, one lukewarmly received (Killzone) one negatively (Knack) and only DriveClub on the exclusives horizon for the next year, as far as I can see.
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