Sony has today announced that global sales of the PlayStation 4 have surpassed Sony’s expectations of 5.0 million units in 3 months and already passed 5.3 million units ahead of their Japan release. This also exceeds Microsoft’s sales of the Xbox One which are expected to be around 4 million, with 3.9 million units having been SHIPPED to retailers in 2013. Microsoft’s dirty PR tactics clearly are trying to make it appear as though Microsoft is keeping up with Sony’s PlayStation 4, but the truth is far from it. According to NPD’s January 2014 figures, the PlayStation 4 outsold the Xbox One nearly by 2 to 1 in the US, traditionally Microsoft’s strongest market. If Sony is killing Microsoft by nearly 2 to 1 in their strongest market, one can only imagine what people can expect to see from Sony and Microsoft a year after the launch has completed.
Also keep in mind that Sony is about to launch the PlayStation 4 in Japan next week, which will also mean a huge amount of sales for the company. The Japanese market is usually a very strong one for Sony and with all of the momentum and buzz that Sony has already gained globally, I would expect the PlayStation 4 to ship millions of units in Japan alone this year. Considering the current pace that Sony is selling the PlayStation 4, there is a good chance that the company could easily break 10 million units before the console is a year old. Especially with the temporary lifting of the Chinese ban on console sales, which should result in quite a few sales of both consoles alone.
What these new figures mean to Sony, and more importantly the gaming industry as a whole is that Sony took the right approach when designing the PlayStation 4. The PS4 is not a home entertainment first device, the PS4 is a gaming first device, unlike the Xbox One. Microsoft’s insistence to own the livingroom through whole system entertainment is an honorable one considering what they did with the Xbox 360, however it does not improve the overall gaming experience and bring it into the current era of social media and sharing. Honestly, I’m not very impressed with either console’s game offerings, but the truth is that the PS4 is $100 cheaper than the Xbox One and appears to be a more modern gaming console for a lower price, with possibly higher performance and smaller footprint.
I’ve been calling the PlayStation 4 a winner since before the two console launched and it really looks like we’ve been vindicated here. Sony’s next step will have to be implementing their game streaming technologies and helping gamers further integrate their devices for use with the PS4. Sony really has a chance to take the console wars to Microsoft and prove that Microsoft could actually lose the lead that they had with the Xbox 360 by turning their focus away from gaming.