Commonly held wisdom in the tech industry has it that being an early adopter is usually a bad idea.
New software often has bugs to work out, taking an update or two before becoming stable in many cases. And new hardware often has its own teething troubles immediately after launch.
Despite it being common sense to wait, however, it's also perfectly understandable to want to be among the first people to get your hands on a shiny new bit of kit or the latest hotness in software. And PlayStation 4's launch was apparently no exception to this; even amid reports that some launch units are suffering hardware issues and complaints that the launch lineup of games is a little weak, Sony managed to shift a million PlayStation 4 consoles in the 24 hours following its launch on Friday, November 15, 2013.
Interestingly, Sony only usually reports units shipped to retailers when giving sales figures, but in this case the company was pleased enough with the result to stress the fact that the one million figure represents units sold through to customers, not to retailers. That means that within the space of a couple of days, there are already over a million PlayStation 4s out there in the wild, a fact that made the ever-jovial Shuhei Yoshida put a big smiley face on Twitter.
For comparison's sake, Nintendo announced that as of the end of September this year, 3.91 million Wii U units have been shipped (to retailers) worldwide, and it's had a year's head start on PlayStation 4; it looks likely that Sony's machine will steam past Nintendo's offering in a matter of months, if not weeks, at this rate. Sony estimates that it will have sold five million PlayStation 4 consoles by the end of the financial year on March 31 of next year; Nintendo estimates -- somewhat overconfidently, some might say -- nine million Wii U systems will be hooked up to players' televisions by that same time.
Both platforms have a long way to go before attaining that goal, clearly. The smart money's on Sony to come out on top at the time of writing, though this week's launch of Xbox One will give a good indication of how competitive Microsoft will be in this new generation of hardware, too -- have gamers forgiven the company for its original controversial ideas surrounding connectivity and digital rights management?
One thing's for sure -- this holiday season is going to be an important and exciting battle for the "big three," and it's going to be very interesting to watch.