Sony rebuffs Xbox One 3m sales hike with ‘4.2m PS4s sold’ brag

Sony sold more than 4.2 million PS4 consoles in 2013, suggesting its marketing strategy to build the brand around gamers soundly outperformed the 3 million Xbox One sales from rival Microsoft’s campaign over the crucial festive period.

The Japanese firm issued the update during its CES keynote yesterday evening (7 January) when Andrew House, president and chief executive of Sony Computer Entertainment, claimed the PS4 was the largest console launch ever.

Previously, Sony revealed 2.1 million consoles had been sold worldwide as of early December, one million of which were sold in the first 24 hours it was available in the United States and Canada. That figure more than doubled as of 28 December as Sony switched to more high-impact marketing for the console and introduced it to more markets.

Sony staggered the console’s launch over six weeks to 53 countries, while its American counterpart was rolled out simultaneously to 13 markets. The PS4’s lower price tag (£349) is also likely to have helped it outsell the more expensive (£449) Xbox One as is the backlash to the initially planned used game restrictions and internet access requirements.

It keeps Sony on course to meet its 5 million sales target by the end of March. The company’s announcement comes just 24 hours after rival Microsoft revealed its gamble to market the Xbox One to a wider entertainment market helped spark more than 3 million sales in 2013.

House said the “momentum” of the PS4 system “keeps getting stronger” adding gamers are enjoying the “deep social capabilities and entertainment provided by our network”. More content, features and services are planned for 2014, he added.

The first is a new streaming service, dubbed Playstation Now, which lets users play “classic” Playstation titles across Sony hardware ranging from tablet devices to TVs. It is undergoing beta trials now ahead of a global rollout this summer. The company also announced web-based TV service that will feature VOD and cloud-based content.

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