It’s no accident that both Sony and Microsoft decided to launch their new consoles just ahead of the 2013 holidays, as lucky boys and girls all around the world unwrapped an Xbox One or PlayStation 4 in December and plenty more gamers “gifted” a new console to themselves in the spirit of the season.
The numbers for 2013 are now in, and Sony has revealed that by December 28, 2013, 4.2 million PS4 units had been sold globally. That makes for a very successful launch that is likely to get another boost when the PS4 is finally released in its home country of Japan next month.
PS Plus subscriptions have also increased by 90% since the launch of the PS4, but that’s unsurprising since PS Plus is required for any online play on the console. There have also been an estimated 9.7 million sales in software for the PS4 over the holiday season, with Call of Duty: Ghosts, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag and Battlefield 4 among the top sellers.
PS4 owners are also wasting no time in showing off their new gear to jealous friends and fellow console owners through the console’s sharing options. Sony reports that over 1.7 million PS4 gameplay broadcasts (55 million minutes’ worth) have been streamed over Twitch and Ustream, with Twitch reporting that more than 20% of its broadcasters are PS4 owners.
This news comes in the wake of Microsoft’s announcement that 3 million Xbox One consoles were sold globally before the end of 2013, putting Sony significantly ahead in the first couple of months following the launch of both consoles. This will likely come as great/terrible news for gamers who enjoy throwing themselves wholeheartedly into the Sony vs. Microsoft rivalry, but it’s important to remember that these are still early days and the true test of both consoles will be how they fare over the next few years.
The PS4 has a few influential points in its favor, one of which is the fact that its price tag is $100 lower than that of the Xbox One. Also significant is the fact that the PS4 is available in 48 territories, whereas the Xbox One is currently only available in 13. Finally, the Xbox One numbers include only 39 days of the console’s time on sale, whereas the PS4 figures cover 43 days of availability, though the four day difference probably doesn’t account for much in terms of sales.
The important thing to take away from this is the fact that by the end of 2013 there were already 7.2 million people with consoles capable of handling the new generation of games, and what’s good for the industry is good for us all. Happy gaming, PS4 and Xbox One owners.