Sony is having a good week.
On Tuesday it was revealed that PlayStation 4 had become the fastest selling console in the UK, shifting 250,000 units within 48 hours. Now, the consumer electronics company has announced that, two weeks after the US launch of its next-gen machine, global sales stand at more than 2.1m.
Writing on the Official PlayStation blog, the president of Sony Computer Entertainment, Andrew House, said: "PS4′s North American debut on 15 November was PlayStation’s largest ever, with more than 1 million gamers picking up a PS4 in just 24 hours. Now, with PS4′s global launch expanding to a total of 32 countries worldwide, including Europe and Latin America, I’m proud to announce that more than 2.1 million PS4s have been sold. It’s an impressive and record-setting accomplishment for our company and for our industry."
As for Xbox One, since announcing that over 1m machines had been sold within 24 hours of its launch, Microsoft has yet to reveal any further figures. As reported on Tuesday, the console did well during the US Black Friday shopping onslaught, taking 31% of sales as opposed to PS4's 15% – however stocking and availability issues may have played a role in the PlayStation's muted performance.
The performance of PS4 is in stark contrast to the stuttering roll-out of the PS3, which in 2006, launched with less than 400,000 units available in the US due to production problems. The European launch also suffered, and just 1.68m units were sold globally by the close of the year. The PS4 figures also compare well with the successful launch of Nintendo's Wii, which shifted over 600,000 units in less than a fortnight in the US and just less than its 400,000 allocation in Japan.
A major difference with this generation has been the more conventional design of the two consoles. Both use familiar CPU and graphics-processing hardware options, meaning that manufacturing has been relatively painless. PS3 featured a proprietary Cell processor and offered a Blu-ray drive while the technology was still being finalised.
Sony has said that it plans to sell 3m PS4s by the close of 2013. Industry analyst IHS is more measured, forecasting a figure of 2.4m PS4s and 2.2m Xbox One consoles before the end of December.
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