Speaking on stage during a press briefing in Cologne, on the eve of the Gamescom video game conference, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe CEO Jim Ryan added that the number refers to units sold to individual end users, rather than stock provided to stores.
While it is far to early to declare a winner in the “console war” between the PS4 and Xbox One, the most recent figures regarding Microsoft’s competitor (gathered in July this year) put its global sales at around half that amount.
Regardless of competing figures, 10m sales is a significant success for Sony. Launched last November, the PS4 reached the 5m sales mark within four months. It took the company a year to shift 3m units of its PS2 machine, the most successful games console of all time.
“This is a big milestone for Sony,” said Chris Dring, editor of industry news site, MCV. “Not only has it broken the 10m barrier in a short period of time, it has done it amid competition from Xbox, mobile games and online hits like Minecraft. It also flies in the face of cynics who said consoles would struggle, and has smashed even Sony’s own lofty expectations for the machine.”
Speaking immediately after the conclusion of the Sony Gamescom press conference, Dring added that the figure is not just good news for Sony. “It is huge for the core games industry in general – when combined with Xbox One’s sales numbers, at least 15m-plus next-gen consoles have sold in Western markets since Christmas.”
PS4 outsold the Xbox One at a rate of three-to-one in the financial quarter ending June 30th 2014. However, September will see Microsoft’s games platform launch in an additional 26 countries, including many across Europe and other affluent territories, such as the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Eight of those regions were originally slated to get the Xbox One on its initial release, demonstrating that Microsoft’s console has had something of a troubled start. However, the extra territories may help bolster the console’s sales, perhaps closing the gap on Sony.
As well as trumpeting the success of the PS4, Sony also used its Gamescom conference to announce several new features coming to the console in the next year. The most significant is SharePlay, which will allow game owners to share new titles with friends who do not own the same title – they will be able to take over the gameplay remotely or join in with co-operative modes.
Introduced as part of the system software update 2.0, SharePlay symbolises Sony’s continuing focus on social integration. The service will be joined by the long-awaited YouTube compatibility, which will let PS4 owners upload gameplay footage directly to the popular video service. This is an important feature at a time in which “Let’s Play” videos are an increasingly powerful force in the business.
The exact date that update 2.0 will arrive is yet to be confirmed. A release window has been loosely set, however, for PS Now, a service that lets players stream games across the web, using the Gaikai technology acquired by Sony in July 2012. PS Now will launch in 2015 in Europe, after a beta testing period in the UK.
Before then, on 14 November, Sony’s PlayStation TV platform will become available for €100. A Sterling price is yet to be set for the device, a microconsole that offers access to numerous Vita titles and streamed games. Already out in Japan where it is known as PS Vita TV, the gadget uses the PlayStation 3 variant of the DualShock controller, and plugs straight into a television.
Sony is attacking the games market on several fronts, and with 10m sales of its flagship console, it will leave Cologne in a confident mood.
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