With 1 million units sold on Day 1, PS4 is probably the biggest console launch of all time
I’ve been one of those people to say “consoles are dead”. I’ve even thought at some point that I was right. With increasing fragmentation (steam, PC gaming, mobile games, Ouya…), and the apparently unstoppable demise of Nintendo, it was clear to me that “dedicated gaming machines” was a thing of the past.
Of course, I’m still excited by the PS4 (and I managed to get one) and, to some extent, the Xbox One, but I believed I was one of the few “hardcore gamers” still interested in those.
I was wrong
Sony announced today that they sold 1 million PS4s in the US in the very first day of the console. Now, let’s put these numbers in perspective though, as I’m sure they mean they have sold 1million units since the console became available for preorder months ago. Even though, that’s a pretty impressive number here, as we can compare to other console launches in the past.
PS4 has sold through over 1 million units within 24 hours of the launch in North America!!!
— Shuhei Yoshida (@yosp) November 17, 2013
Assuming we regroup these 1 million units in one day (which the Playstation marketing staff hasn’t hesitated to do), the PS4 is by far the biggest console launch in history, with the Sega Dreamcast coming second with 500’000 units sold in the US in 2 weeks. Arguably, the PS2 was possibly as big as the PS4, but if we look only at the US numbers, the 1 million units of the PS4 just makes the PS2′s “500k sold in the US in one weekend” almost ridiculous.
How about the previous generation? The PS3 had sold about 200’000 units in two weeks in the US, and the Xbox 360 326’000 over the same amount of time. The PS4 sold in one day in the US basically twice as much as the PS3 and the Xbox 360 in 2 weeks…
These numbers are just impressive. Again, they are “biased” because the consoles have been available for preorder for a while, and it also probably means Sony improved their manufacturing efficiency (by having the consoles made in China instead of Japan, it seems they have avoided the shortage of stock that had plagued both the PS2 and the PS3), but even though, this is a huge amount for the very first day of the console.
It’s worth mentioning though that a huge start does not necessarily mean a long term success. The Wii U outperformed the Xbox360 and the PS3 in terms of “first week sales”, with 400k units sold, yet I’m having a hard time seeing the Wii U compete against the two giants in the years to come.
Let’s see how the Xbox One will perform!