The Playstation 4 sold 1 million consoles in its first 24 hours on sale. The Xbox One matched the tally, but was on sale in more countries (11, to be exact). Still, the Xbox One cost $100 more per unit, so its day one revenue mark was higher, right?
But what about game sales? Peripherals? Line wait? Inventory restrictions? Did the Xbox One sell out, or did Microsoft constrain supply so that it would sell out? And so forth. Calm down.
The only things we can grok from the launch of the two new consoles from Microsoft and Sony is that each company has built and released a new device that has a passionate and large customer base behind it. Sony’s emphasis on gaming appears to be resonating in strong fashion with its audience. And the Xbox One’s pitch to rule your living room from TV to games is apparently suiting another large chunk of the market.
The thing to keep in mind with consoles is that sales rates for each competing line are incredibly strong, and durable. Concluding its life as a premier console, for example, the Xbox 360 managed to regain its crown in October as the bestselling console that month. The Playstation had taken top berth the month before.
Here’s the excellent GeekWire on the month’s sales [Condensed: TechCrunch]:
With the current console generation drawing to a close, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 console returned to the top of the U.S. console market in October —reclaiming the No. 1 spot that Microsoft gave up temporarily to Sony’s PlayStation 3 last month after holding the title for 32 straight months.
Microsoft said the Xbox 360 sold 166,000 units in the U.S. in October, topping the PlayStation 3 and Nintendo’s Wii and Wii U.
Those sales figures were sharply down from previous rates, which was to be expected moments before the debut of new hardware. Still, that the Xbox 360 -and its kin could move 6 figures monthly 8 years or so after their debut means that we are working at best the early pitches of the first innings of this next generation console war.
There is a third player to all of this, but TechCrunch’s Matthew Panzarino lays that to rest sardonically: “Meanwhile, Nintendo has sold just over 3.9M Wii U units so far this year.” Right. Moving on.
I don’t have a dog in the console squabble, nor do I care which you choose to buy. But what I do find boring is arguing about who might be winning this early: Each console has proven that they will drive more than a billion dollars in first month revenue, that they have strong ship volume, and will reward early development activity for their platform. Consider all that simple warnings shots. The real war starts now.
Let’s see where we are in terms of aggregate sales and spend in 6 months and a year and three years’ time. Until then, we are overly prognosticating a decade’s campaign with its first firefight.