AUG. 13, 2014 • During the Gamescom conference this week in Cologne, Germany, Sony Computer Ent. announced that PlayStation 4 sales have reached 10 million units worldwide through August 10 since the console’s launch last November. More than 30 million units of first- and third-party PS4 software have been sold via retail and digital distribution globally during the same period. In related news, Sony said it was launching the PlayStation TV micro console in North America on October 14 at $99. The PS TV arrives in Europe on November 14 at €99. The PS TV has three content conduits: digital purchases of Vita and PSP games, PS4 titles playable via the Remote Play feature, and games available through the PlayStation Now streaming service. PlayStation Now will be available in North America at launch but won’t make it to Europe until 2015. Third-party content providers such as Netflix will also be supported.
Impact: Sony has reason to be pleased in reaching 10 million units sold in nine months. By comparison, the Wii moved 5.84 million units in five months and 20 million units in 12 months. The PlayStation 2 also did over 20 million units its first year. In both cases this was despite hardware being in short supply. What’s interesting is the PlayStation 4 sold 7 million units in its first five months – thanks in large part to Sony’s much higher manufacturing capacity early in the launch. With the holidays coming up the PS4 should come close to what the Wii did in 2007 and the PlayStation 2 did in 2001. Long term DFC Intelligence is now forecasting that the PlayStation 4 will eventually sell as many units as the Wii but not as many as the PlayStation 2. That’s a mean achievement given how much non-console consumer electronics are out there competing for consumer dollars that were not a factor seven years ago. We wish we could tell you how many Xbox One’s have sold to date but Microsoft Corp. has not released an official tally since the 3 million total announced last December. Now that we have a launch date for the PlayStation TV we are keen to see how the micro console will be marketed. The unit has the potential to be a crossover product that can appeal to mainstream consumers if Sony targets them. But if the PS TV is advertised as a gamer add-on accessory we doubt the product will reach its potential. Another factor to watch is how big a draw PlayStation Now will be in selling the PS TV. That should be swiftly apparent by how well European consumers take to the micro console without the streaming service.