PlayStation 4 sales figures analysed: Could it become the fastest-selling console in history?

Sony, after declaring that its PlayStation 4 was outselling the Xbox One almost two-to-one in January, has confirmed that it has sold more than 5.3 million PS4s between its launch on 15 November 2013 (in the US, 29 November in the UK) and 8 February 2014. The Xbox One, by comparison, had sold 3 million units by the end of 2013. This is before the PS4 launches in its home country of Japan, too; once that occurs on 22 February we can expect the PS4 to surge even further ahead of the Xbox One.

The most interesting data only appears once we tally up both the raw sales figures and the two-to-one tidbit, however. We don’t have an updated sales figure from Microsoft — so, at the end of 2013, Sony had sold 4.2 million PS4s, and Microsoft had sold 3 million Xbox Ones. Then, in January, the PS4 “nearly doubled” the sales of the Xbox One, ending up at 5.3 million units by 8 February. If we work backwards, this means that the Xbox One only sold around 600,000 units between 1 January and 8 February, while the PS4 sold 1.1 million units.

This would put the current estimated total at 5.3 million versus 3.6 million – a wide gap that will only expand once the PS4 is released in Japan. The Xbox One has now released in all of its major territories, so it sales figures will now gradually decline until next Christmas. Following the surge of sales in Japan, we wouldn’t be surprised if, come the end of March, the PS4’s total sales are more than twice that of the Xbox One.

Sony had originally forecast just five million units sold by the end of March. At this rate, we could be looking at around 10 million consoles sold by the end of the year. The Wii U, in comparison, has sold around 6 million units since its release 14 months ago.

At this point, it’s fairly safe to say that the PS4 has had one of the largest console launches in history, and will probably go on to become the fastest-selling console in history (it already appears to be beating the Nintendo Wii and DS, which are probably its only rivals). Whether the PS4 (or Xbox One) will go on to rival the monumental all-time sales of the PlayStation 2 and Nintendo DS, though, remains to be seen.