Sony said it sold more than one million units of the new PlayStation 4 videogame console to consumers in its first day on sale, indicating strong initial demand for the device.
Andrew House, head of the Japanese tech giant’s videogame division said in a statement that gamers appear to be reacting well to the device.
“Sales remain very strong in North America, and we expect continued enthusiasm as we launch the PlayStation 4 in Europe and Latin America,” he said. The device will continue its rollout beyond North American markets on Nov. 29.
The company has said it expects to sell five million units by March, which would beat the initial sales rollout of its last-generation videogame device, the PlayStation 3, which sold 3.5 million units worldwide over the same introductory period.
Sony’s data follow an initial flood of enthusiasm and long lines at stores for the PS4’s debut at midnight Friday morning, as well as stock-outs reported at many retailers.
The numbers are a positive sign for the videogame console industry, which has struggled in recent years through a protracted slump as consumers have held off purchasing or turned to games offered on mobile devices and social networking websites.
Videogame executives have blamed the industry’s contracting sales on the cyclical nature of the console devices, citing sales slowdowns shortly before Microsoft’s Xbox 360, Nintendo’s Wii and Sony’s PlayStation 3 were all introduced between 2005 and 2006. Shortly after their introduction, console videogame sales surged 28% in 2007, according to data from market research firm PwC.
This time, however, sales are expected to grow more slowly. PwC says it expects worldwide console games sales to grow 4.2% to $25.98 billion this year, up from $24.93 billion a year prior. In 2014, sales are expected to rise another 6.4% to $27.62 billion.
The strong sales data from Sony, though, point to the possibility of a more dramatic uptick. Still, analysts warn, the real test of the device will be over the longer term, and whether it can mirror or even beat the momentum of its predecessors.
Sony had earlier said it had ample quantities of the device, citing easier manufacturing processes. Analysts have said they expect Sony to sell as many PS4s as it can manufacture over the holiday shopping season. Microsoft, which is launching its Xbox One on Nov. 22, said it too has strong supplies ahead of launch.
Separately, some customers have complained on social networking websites that their PlayStation 4 devices weren’t acting as they should, including inability to turn on as expected. Sony said it is investigating the reports, but believes the issue impacts a “very small percentage total units shipped to consumers.”
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