The next generation of consoles has become the current generation of consoles. Despite analyst worries that players might've checked out of the console market, the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One both had great starts. The Xbox One has continued to build on its start, and today Microsoft announced that the system sold more than 3 million consoles in 2013.
"Over 3 million Xbox One consoles were sold to consumers in 13 countries before the end of 2013," wrote Xbox corporate vice president of marketing Yusuf Mehdi on Xbox Wire. "It's been incredible to see Xbox One selling at a record-setting pace for Xbox, and we were honored to see Xbox One become the fastest-selling console in the U.S. during our launch month in November."
Microsoft announced that it crossed the 2 million mark in 13 countries on December 11, just 18 days out from launch, meaning the console sold another 1 million units in 20 days. Sony's PlayStation 4 sold 2 million in 17 days in 32 countries, but the company has yet to update sales numbers since then. Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai is taking the stage at CES 2014 tomorrow at 11:30 AM ET/8:30 AM PT, so we'll probably hear something there amidst the company's other hardware announcements.
The Xbox One still has a ways to go when it comes to system-defining experiences, both in a game and UI sense. Outside of the system's launch line-up, Titanfall is the only big Xbox One draw in the early part of 2014. When it comes to the Xbox One's new UI, fans have complained that features like Party Chat, storage management, and pinning favorites are more difficult than they were on Xbox 360. Xbox Live director of programming Larry Hyrb told Canada.com that Microsoft is committed to improving it.
"If you look back at the Xbox 360′s launch, what it was in 2005 when it launched is completely different from what it is now," he said. "It's fascinating to see the different things that have come along. Things iterated. We didn't even have things like the party system or the ability to support external storage when we launched the Xbox 360. So we are absolutely committed to adding new features to the Xbox One over the course of its life span."
"We're going to continue to refine the system and make it what the Xbox fans are expecting and what they want. We're listening to the feedback every single day. I've already seen some changes in the operating system internally with what we're building."