DEC. 3, 2013 • As of December 1 the PlayStation 4 launch sales had topped more than 2.1 million units. Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) says 1.4 million of those units were sold in the U.S. and Latin America, with the remaining 700,000 distributed by SCE Europe, which includes Australia and New Zealand. According to Gfk Chart-Track, 250,000 PS4s were sold in the United Kingdom during the first 48 hours after its Nov. 29 launch, which makes the system the fastest selling console there since the PSP accumulated 180,000 units sold in the same amount of time. The Xbox One, which went on sale a week earlier than the PS4, sold 150,000 units in the U.K. within 48 hours.
Impact: Sony’s unit sales are in line with DFC’s recent forecasts for the PlayStation 4 through the end of 2013. From our own channel checks it was expected that 1.2 million units would be dedicated to the North American market. The sales numbers in the United Kingdom are intriguing. That market is probably the most similar to the U.S. compared to the rest of Europe, which explains why the Xbox 360 did so well there. As the U.K. sell-in for both new consoles was likely similar, and the Xbox One had the benefit of launching first, higher demand for the £349 PS4 tells us that £80 price advantage on Sony’s machine probably made a significant impact on consumer decisions. If that is true in Great Britain, then Microsoft has extra work ahead in marketing the Xbox One to the rest of Europe where the PlayStation brand has traditionally been better received. The Xbox One delivers extra value for its higher price, yet it remains to be seen whether most game console buyers actually are demanding those additional media and interface features. Controlling media access inside the living is a critical strategic goal for the Xbox One, but if consumers are really more concerned with picking up a great game console, then the less expensive PS4’s will be attractive. Not to be misunderstood, the Xbox One is having a very solid launch with bodes well for long-term sales. The reality is that Sony may a bit faster out of the gate. It is really not fair to read much into launch results but so far the launch seems to bear out DFC’s forecast that the PlayStation 4 is likely to be the leading system this generation.