Sony just announced at Gamescom 2014 that its latest console, the PlayStation 4, has sold 10 million units since it launched last year. That’s 10 million PS4s sold through to consumers, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe CEO Jim Ryan explained on stage at the company’s keynote at Gamescom, not just 10 million units shipped the way hardware sales are sometimes reported.
It’s an impressive total for a new device that has been on sale only since November last year. Sony’s chief executive Kaz Hirai said it expects to sell 10 million PS4s in total for the fiscal year back in May, which would mean moving that many devices between April 2014 and April 2015. If it has already moved three million since the end of its last fiscal quarter, that’s a good pace with holiday quarter still ahead.
The PS4 was profitable for Sony only six months after its initial launch, while the PS3 took three years to make that milestone, so Sony’s success in moving this many consoles should help its bottom line directly, rather than just by encouraging software and accessory sales.
It’s hard to estimate how many Xbox One consoles Microsoft has sold by contrast, but the PS4 outsold the latest Xbox by a ratio of around 3 to 1 in the most recent quarter, and optimistically MS has probably sold around half what Sony has managed thus far – though unbundling the Kinect and focusing on software updates and console exclusives might help Microsoft make up some ground.