According to Sony, the company sold more than 1 million of its PlayStation 4 video game consoles during their first 24 hours on the market that were available in the United States and Canada.
“PS4 was designed with an unwavering commitment to gamers, and we are thrilled that consumer reaction has been so phenomenal,” Andrew House, president of Sony Computer Entertainment, the unit of Sony that oversees PlayStation, said in a statement. “Sales remain very strong in North America, and we expect continued enthusiasm as we launch the PlayStation 4 in Europe and Latin America on Nov. 29.”
Sony has predicted that it’ll push out a total of five million PlayStation consoles by March of next year. Robert W. Baird & Co analyst Colin Sebastian has said he expects 2.5 million to 3 million PS4 shipments in the fourth quarter in North America. It’s a far cry from Sony’s last PlayStation launch in 2006, when just 400,000 PlayStation 3 units were allocated to be sold in the U.S.
Sony Corp had previously announced it had received more than 1 million advance orders for the console. Still, the initial sales figures are Sony’s first salvo in a battle brewing with Microsoft Corp’s Xbox One console, which goes on sale Nov 22. Sony is also hoping its console can help build a platform for recovery at the Japanese company’s money-losing consumer electronics operations, reports Reuters.
Thousands of gamers waited in line to purchase the PS4 at various midnight launch events across North America on Friday, including at the The Standard in New York City, where Sony unveiled game teaser trailers for Uncharted and Destiny.
One man told CNET that he waited more than 20 hours in the cold weather to be the first person in line to buy the new console during a midnight launch event held at New York’s Standard High Line hotel.
Sony acknowledged that some buyers had complained of issues but called them “isolated incidents” that were within the company’s expectations for a new product launch.
“There have been several problems reported, which leads us to believe there isn’t a singular problem that could impact a broader percentage of systems,” the company said in a statement to IGN. “The number of affected systems represents less than .4% of shipped units to date, which is within our expectations for a new product introduction.”
The PlayStation 4 is Sony’s first new video game console in seven years. It faces competition from Microsoft Corp.’s new Xbox One, which goes on sale this week. But unlike seven years ago, video game systems are also now competing against tablets, smartphones and other gadgets for the attention of gamers.
Both the PS4, priced at $399 in the United States, and the Xbox One, with a price tag of $499, offer improved graphics for realistic effects, processors that allow faster game play and a slew of exclusive video games.
Microsoft declined to offer a sales outlook for the Xbox One through the holidays, but demand should be comparable, says Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter. He expects 3 million Xbox Ones to be sold through December and 4.5 million through March.