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A closer look at PlayStation 4 sales: Sony is off to a blistering start

Now that the PlayStation 4 is out in North America, Europe, and Latin America, we finally get to see for ourselves how the public is reacting to the new generation of consoles. Not everything has gone as smoothly as possible, but the traction has been quite impressive nonetheless. A mere two weeks into the PS4’s life, and Sony has already sold more than 2.1 million units. Compared to the Xbox 360 and PS3’s launches, this number is simply gargantuan.

Yesterday, Sony’s Andrew House officially announced that the PS4 had crossed the 2.1 million mark. The PS4 launched in North America on 15 November, and sold over one million units in 24 hours. On 29 November, roughly 30 countries in Europe and Latin America joined in the next-gen festivities, the UK included (indeed, the PS4 became the UK’s fastest selling console ever). In just two weeks, Sony was able to convince a shockingly large number of gamers around the world to buy into a brand-new platform without any killer apps.

So, how does this compare to other console launches? After taking a look at some NPD sales estimates, it’s clear that the PS4 is off to an extraordinary start. The PS3 only sold 197,000 units in its first two weeks. At 326,000 units, the Xbox 360 wasn’t that much better. Since the Xbox One also crossed a million sold in its first day, it appears that this generation not only has consumer interest, but also the supply to back that up.

Take a look at the Nintendo Wii. It was an unqualified success, but it was severely supply-constrained for an absurdly long period of time. The demand was incredible, but it only ended up selling roughly 600,000 units in its launch week in North and South America. Why? Nintendo just couldn’t make enough units. While there was initial speculation of artificial shortages, the Wii remained difficult to acquire for nearly two years after launch. Thankfully, that doesn’t seem to be the case at all with the PS4 and Xbox One. Demand is currently outstripping supply, but to a much smaller degree than the Wii. After the initial Christmas rush, don’t expect PS4s and Xbox Ones to be difficult to find on store shelves.

Frankly, this is exactly the news that the gaming industry needs right now. It’s been roughly eight years since the beginning of the previous generation, and sales have been slumping for quite some time. With the strong sales of two new consoles fresh in everyone’s minds, it’s safe to assume that publishers are going to loosen up their purse strings for a number of large-scale titles. With the addition of self-publishing on both platforms, we’ll hopefully be swimming in quirky indie games as well. There is definitely a new gold rush happening here, with gamers and publishers alike lined up to reap the benefits.

For more on the PS4, check out our Xbox One versus PlayStation 4 speed showdown, an article that asks the question: Which is the fastest console? We also have a list of 9 things you can’t do with the PS4 right now.