- Peter Suciu for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
Sony Computer Entertainment is on track to have a very good holiday season. The company’s PlayStation 4 next generation video game console sold more than a million units in the United States in its first 24 hours, and less than three weeks since its debut the system has topped 2.1 million units worldwide.
The PS4 was launched last Friday in Europe, Australia and other countries, following its North American launch on November 15. Sony is also quick to point out that the 2.1 million figure is actual units sold and not merely units shipped into the retail channel.
“Demand remains incredibly strong and continues to overwhelm the supply worldwide, but we are diligently working to meet those growing demands and to deliver additional PS4 units to our retail partners throughout the holiday season,” said Andrew House, president and group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, according to USA Today.
The strong sales have also come despite strong competition, as rival Microsoft released its Xbox One video game console just a week after the launch of the PS4. Microsoft also announced that its gaming console reached one million units sold in just 24 hours. The Microsoft system launched in 13 markets on November 22, while the November 15 launch of the PS4 occurred in just two – with Europe following only last Friday.
Sony’s PlayStation 4 is now available in 32 countries worldwide. However, it could get an even bigger boost early next year when it is released in Japan.
“It is difficult to say since it has been a long time since Sony has released a system in Japan,” said independent video game analyst Billy Pidgeon. “Japan has been very different than other regions. Things have slowed there in recent years, and hardware sales have been driven very much by games.”
With that in mind Sony has been pushing out more units in key markets in Europe, the United States, Canada and even Australia.
“Where they really want to make traction is in Europe and North America,” Pidgeon told redOrbit.
The PS4 has been called a significant upgrade from the PlayStation 3, and it features a revamped controller, streamlined menus and Share options that allow players to broadcast games and share videos and photos with their friends. Despite these advancements the next generation PS4 was released at retail for $399, far lower than the nearly $600 price point of the PS3.
In addition, Sony’s new PS4 is also $100 less than Microsoft’s Xbox One, which retails for $499.
According to research firm IHS iSuppli, Sony is near a break-even point on PS4 hardware. This could allow the system to reach profitability much faster than it was able to reach with the PS3.
“This time, Sony is on a greatly shortened path to the hardware break-even point, or even profitability, with its cost-conscious PlayStation 4 design,” said Andrew Rassweiler, senior director, cost benchmarking services for IHS. “The company is pulling off this feat, despite offering a brand-new design that once again includes avant-garde components that yield superfast performance. The PlayStation 4 keeps a lid on costs by focusing all the additional expense on the processor and memory—and reducing outlays for the optical drive, the hard disk drive (HDD) and other subsystems.”
- Enid Burns for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
Nintendo's 3DS just became the newest platform to support YouTube videos. A new YouTube application for the handheld gaming system just became available in North America and Europe, Slashgear reports.
The dual screens of the Nintendo 3DS offers a different style of control for viewers. The bottom screen displays search results, suggested videos and the play bar, while the top screen plays the videos. The bottom screen also allows users to search and navigate a video without actually closing the video. The L trigger and B buttons are used as back buttons while the R trigger and A button pause the video. The d-pad and circle pad is used for scrolling options.
YouTube is already available on numerous platforms including computers, smartphones, tablets and gaming consoles.
"3DS is very popular with the young group and YouTube is one of those must-have features," industry analyst Billy Pidgeon told redOrbit. "Kids love YouTube, and this is a great way for them to access it. This is Nintendo's biggest hardware platform right now, so it makes sense to have it on there."
It was reported in November that Nintendo would soon offer a YouTube app in Europe and North America, Joystiq reported, saying the Nintendo Wii U would also get an update for its YouTube app.
The Nintendo 3DS user base continues to grow. In a second quarter earnings report for the fiscal year ending March 2014, Nintendo stated it had sold 11.43 million units in the US and 34.98 million units worldwide by September 2013.
The Japanese console and handheld game system manufacturer is under pressure to continue to innovate its systems. The company reported sluggish earnings in July for its previous quarter. In addition to offering a new YouTube app, Nintendo has pushed for a long list of games to be released for the holiday season as well as offering online deals on Black Friday and throughout the holiday season.
Additional efforts from Nintendo to build its installed base on all systems includes a partnership with Southwest Airlines for which the airline will build gaming lounges in several major airports such as Dallas, Chicago, Denver, Atlanta, Tampa Bay and St. Louis. To signal the start of the partnership, the iconic Nintendo character Mario boarded the airplane on a flight between New Orleans and Dallas during the Thanksgiving week to give every passenger a free Wii U gaming system.
The YouTube app for the 3DS is available in the 3DS eShop in North America and Europe, Engadget reports. Other content apps for the Nintendo 3DS system include services such as Netflix and Hulu, which launched last month.
Nintendo announced the YouTube app at a Nintendo Direct press even. It also issued Nintendo Network ID (NNID) compatibility for the 3DS which is intended to facilitate cross-platform play.
- Peter Suciu for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
While the new video game consoles from Microsoft and Sony have been getting the lion’s share of attention in recent weeks, Valve Software, creator of popular online gaming platform Steam, proved PC gaming is far from dead.
For the first time ever, the game distribution service topped seven million concurrent online customers. The company had been hovering near the seven million mark all of last week, but on Sunday at 11 am Pacific Time Steam rose to 7.19 million users logged in at the same time. That is up from the previous record of roughly six million peak concurrent users from fall 2012, suggesting a 17 percent growth in engagement for the gaming platform.
In October Valve Software also announced Steam had more than 65 million registered accounts. With that in mind, it means more than 10 percent of its user install base was on the service this past weekend.
This jump in users also came as Steam offered a Black Friday and autumn sale, which saw popular titles – such as Sid Meier’s Civilization V, Far Cry 3 and BioShock Infinite – on sale for as much as 75 percent off normal prices.
What is surprising, however, is that this surge with Steam users came just as Microsoft and Sony have each respectively released new video game console systems.
“This is game gravity. When people talk about games people play games,” independent video game analyst Billy Pidgeon told redOrbit. “Many of those people might have wanted a console, but couldn’t get one and still wanted to play so they headed to Steam.
"People like to play online and PC makes it easy to play online,” Pidgeon added. “The PC does well historically during a console transition, such as what we are now seeing. It never goes away, it just gets less newsy.”
Steam, meanwhile, has been very much in the news. Valve Software announced in September it was developing the open-source, Linux-based SteamOS, for its upcoming Steam Machine gaming console. Valve also hopes this move could launch a new platform, one that would see PC manufacturers building the hardware that runs on SteamOS.
“The Steam console is ahead of the market. It is good they are going this way,” said Pidgeon. “They are insulating themselves from heavy losses by letting other people build it.”
While Steam was originally launched as a platform to prevent piracy, it continues to change PC gaming in other ways.
“Stream is kind of an odd duck,” noted Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group. “It provides a platform from which you can play games on PCs - including those running the MacOS and Linux - and loops in social aspects so you can share game progress with a community.
“It has a decent base of gamers what [sic] use it - really is the only good choice for Mac and Linux users who want to play games typically only on Windows - and this gives it a unique advantage with a new game system in that it hits the market with a healthy set of playable games,” Enderle told redOrbit.
“Downside is that these games were designed for PCs and often don’t translate well to console game play. This is what makes the success of their console still somewhat of a long shot but they'll have a large number of folks who will try it out and then comment on what they discover on social media. This is something we haven’t really had before so if the console is good, it will go great, but if it is not good it will likely die very quickly,” he added.
Given the surge in Steam users it does show that interest in PC-style gaming isn’t likely to go away either.
“To me the PC is a great place to play games,” added Pidgeon. “While the console has grabbed the market right now, some people will always prefer PC games.”
- Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
Passengers aboard a Southwest Airlines flight from New Orleans to Dallas last week received a happy surprise when the iconic Nintendo mascot Mario showed up to give everyone on the plane a free Wii U gaming system.
The surprise signaled the start of a partnership between the two companies that will include gaming lounges in some of the nation’s busiest airports between now and Dec. 22. If passengers are traveling through Dallas Love Field, Chicago (Midway), Denver, Atlanta, Tampa Bay or St. Louis airports they will have the opportunity to play Super Mario 3D World and other games for Nintendo’s year-old, high-definition gaming system.
"Southwest Airlines continues to look for ways to have fun with our customers and partnering with Nintendo will do just that," said Kevin Krone, Southwest Airlines Chief Marketing Officer. "Much like Southwest, Nintendo delivers enjoyment and passion and we look forward to bringing the fun to our customers nationwide."
"No one is better than Nintendo and Southwest Airlines at bringing friends, families and fun together," said Scott Moffitt, Nintendo of America’s executive vice president of Sales & Marketing. "As Southwest’s video game partner, our aim is to bring smiles to travelers and Southwest Employees through the fun of Nintendo video games."
Even people not traveling this month can get in on the promotion as Southwest’s website has information on how to win roundtrip tickets and a Wii U.
Released on Nov. 18, 2012, the Wii U system has received mixed reviews so far. The system’s most unique feature, a touchscreen-enhanced controller called Game Pad, has been praised for its functionality, but criticized for its low battery life. With some hits and misses, the Nintendo system has also been criticized for the sporadic release of decent games.
“You’ll be lucky if a major franchise like Assassin’s Creed or Call of Duty bothers to release a sloppy port to the Wii U, let alone create anything original and/or worthwhile for the console,” wrote Hollander Cooper and Henry Gilbert in their review of the system last month for Games Radar. “That leaves the responsibility to Nintendo to publish good content, which it’s (at best) been doing about once every month or so. The time in between can feel pretty empty.”
The new Nintendo-Southwest promotional campaign comes as the battle among gaming console is starting to heat up. Both Microsoft and Sony have released new systems for the holiday season, selling 1 million units each on their release weekends.
According to a recent report released on Saturday by gaming industry tracker InfoScout, Xbox One and Xbox 360 sales dominated PlayStation sales over the Thanksgiving weekend. The tracking company said limited supplies of the newly released PS4 and discounts at Walmart on Xbox may have played a role.
The promotional campaign is the latest step by Southwest toward embracing electronics devices, as the company announced in November that it would start to allow passengers to use their personal devices during all stages of flight, albeit in ‘airplane mode.’
- redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online
Sony is resetting the passwords of some PlayStation Network (PSN) users in North America after detecting some “irregular activity” that led a small number of users to receive error messages saying their passwords were not correct.
A notice on Sony’s official PlayStation forums said that some users "may need to reset" their passwords based on some "irregular activity” on the network.
“If you have access to the email address and Date of Birth associated with the account, you will be able to reset it yourself. If you are missing one or both of those, then you will need to contact us for further assistance,” the notice read.
The move follows a similar incident last week, in which Sony asked a “small number” of European gamers to reset their passwords as a “precautionary measure.”
A representative from Sony told the gaming news website Kotaku that some North American users may also need to reset their passwords as a precautionary measure.
“We routinely monitor for irregular activity, and if such activity is detected, we may sometimes reset passwords of affected SEN accounts as a precautionary measure to protect consumers and their account information.”
Although the issue seems to be affecting just a small number of PSN users, Sony advised anyone receiving a message that their password is incorrect to visit the PlayStation Knowledge Center to have it reset.
- Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
Ever since the horrific incident at Columbine High School, violent video games and mass shootings have been intertwined. Now, a new study from an international team of researchers has found playing violent video games not only increases aggression but can also cause players to exhibit less self-control and more unethical behaviors.
The study researchers found these effects were strongest in teenage participants who scored high on a scale for moral disengagement – the capacity for an individual to convince themselves that ethics don’t apply in a certain situation.
According to study author Brad Bushman, the results of the study show far-reaching impacts of playing violent video games.
“When people play violent video games, they show less self-restraint. They eat more, they cheat more,” said Bushman, a professor of psychology and communication at The Ohio State University. “It isn’t just about aggression, although that also increases when people play games like Grand Theft Auto.”
Based in Italy, the study experiment began with more than 170 teenagers playing a violent video game, such as Grand Theft Auto III, or a non-violent game like MiniGolf 3D, for a total of 45 minutes. As the teens played, a bowl containing chocolate M&Ms was placed next to the gaming console. The participants were told they could eat the candy, but warned eating too much in a short time span was unhealthy.
The researchers watched as those who played the violent games ate over three times as much candy as the other teens, according to the study team’s report in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.
“They simply showed less restraint in their eating,” Bushman said.
After their gaming session, the teens were given a 10-item logic test in which they would get one ticket for a prize raffle for each question they got correct. After finding out how many answers they got right, the teens were told to take the appropriate number of tickets out of an envelope while not being watched.
Knowing exactly how many tickets were in the envelope, the researchers could later determine if a participant took more than they had earned. They found violent game players cheated about eight times more often than did those who played a nonviolent game.
The researchers also tested participants’ level of aggression by having them play a game with an unseen fictional “partner” for the chance to blast the loser with a loud noise through headphones. They found violent game players chose to blast their fictitious partners with louder noises that lasted longer than those who played nonviolent games.
“We have consistently found in a number of studies that those who play violent games act more aggressively, and this is just more evidence,” Bushman said.
Participants also completed a Moral Disengagement Scale, which quantifies how loosely a person holds themselves to high moral standards in all situations. The researchers found violent game players who scored higher on the scale, and were therefore more disengaged, were more likely to take extra tickets, eat more candy and act more aggressively – compared to those who played the nonviolent games.
“Very few teens were unaffected by violent video games, but this study helps us address the question of who is most likely to be affected,” Bushman said. “Those who are most morally disengaged are likely to be the ones who show less self-restraint after playing.”
He added that the effects were seen among both male and female participants.
“One of the major risk factors for anti-social behavior is simply being male,” Bushman said. “But even girls were more likely to eat extra chocolate and to cheat and to act aggressively when they played Grand Theft Auto versus the mini golf or pinball game. They didn’t reach the level of the boys in the study, but their behavior did change.”
- Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
On Friday, Microsoft was celebrating record sales of its next-generation Xbox One gaming console; by Saturday, the Redwood, Washington-based software giant was acknowledging that there was a problem affecting some of its new Xbox systems.
Following Friday’s launch, Xbox One owners began reporting to online gaming news sites, such as Kotaku, that their disc drives were malfunctioning. Apparently when they tried inserting a disc into the drive a grinding or clicking noise was heard, followed by an unreadable disc error. The problem was first detected last week when some early buyers reported the error via YouTube videos. But following Friday’s record one million+ units going out the doors, the problem has spread vastly.
Microsoft acknowledged the issue as early as Saturday, posting a statement to Kotaku that this issue is “affecting a very small number of Xbox One customers” and that it is “working directly with those affected to get a replacement console to them as soon as possible.”
"Customers have the option for us to send a replacement console right away without waiting until they have returned their old one. This means a customer only has to wait a matter of days, rather than weeks to get back up and running," a Microsoft spokesperson told Kotaku, referring to the company’s exchange program.
While Microsoft said it would make every effort to resolve this issue by replacing broken consoles, many consumers who experienced the issue are likely wishing there could have been a DIY fix for what has been called, for lack of a better term, the “Disc Drive of Doom,” according to Kotaku.
And while the issue is being handled appropriately, it is nothing new for Microsoft. When the Xbox 360 first launched in 2005, many users reported faults with the hardware which led to three flashing red lights appearing on the front of their consoles, rendering the device unusable. That problem also garnered its own catchy name: the “Red Ring of Death.”
This "Red Ring of Death," although resolved shortly later, apparently returned when Microsoft first unleashed the Kinect sensor for its Xbox 360 systems.
"Microsoft suffered very significant quality control problems with the early Xbox 360 consoles and has put significant effort into its hardware design and manufacturing process to minimize faults," Spencer Izard, an analyst with IDC told the BBC News.
"For launches over multiple countries the volume of manufacturing required by both Microsoft and Sony will always unfortunately yield a minor amount of hardware failures, in one form or another, and we are seeing this with this launch cycle," he added.
While Microsoft is busy taking care of its console chaos, its market rival, Sony, is also working diligently to address glitches in its next-gen system, the PlayStation 4.
Sony acknowledged that consumers were experiencing technical issues as some were finding a blue light continually flashing on the console and others reporting that the system would just turn itself off.
While Sony believes the issue may be more widespread, a company spokesman told Bloomberg, as cited by the BBC, that “some units were reportedly damaged during shipping.”
Still, the spokesman claims that less than one percent of consoles were affected. Even at this rate, it could mean that as many as 10,000 gamers may have experienced some technical issue in their PS4.
It is likely that many people had only become aware of these problems because of postings on social networking sites, noted Izard.
"Overall, I do not believe we will see significant manufacturing problems with either the Microsoft or Sony console but due to social media the relatively few that do occur will become more apparent to those looking to purchase over this holiday season," he told the BBC.
Microsoft has not said exactly how many units were affected by its technical issue, but maintained it was a “very small number.”
According to Kotaku, at least 150 people have complained about their Xbox One on its site by the time Microsoft made its statement Saturday.
- Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
The gaming console war heats up as Microsoft’s next-generation Xbox One released to record numbers on Friday. The system, which has been touted as a one-stop entertainment hub sold more than a million units on its opening day, according to the software giant.
Microsoft says that surpasses first-day sales of the Xbox 360, the company’s previous entry into the gaming world in 2007. Record sales also means that most retailers have sold out and the Redwood, Washington-based company said it will be working hard to bring more systems to the masses soon.
“We are humbled and grateful for the excitement of Xbox fans around the world,” Yusuf Mehdi, Corporate Vice President of Marketing and Strategy for Xbox, said in a blog. “Seeing thousands of excited fans lined up to get their Xbox One and their love for gaming was truly a special moment for everyone on the Xbox team. We are working hard to create more Xbox One consoles and look forward to fulfilling holiday gift wishes this season.”
RedOrbit previously reported that Microsoft was likely looking to become the “Big Man on Campus” with its latest entertainment system. Unlike Sony’s PlayStation 4, which was being touted for its video gaming prowess, Microsoft has emphasized that its system will be the epicenter of entertainment.
While Sony saw record sales of its PlayStation 4 just a week earlier, also reporting first-day sales of more than a million units, Microsoft’s equally impressive numbers only means that it outpaced its rival in total revenue. PS4 launched with a price tag of $399; Microsoft’s Xbox One goes for $499. Based on those numbers, the Xbox One likely raked in $100 million or more over its competitor.
And it is likely revenue will continue to rise for Microsoft as GameStop has reported that a survey of its rewards program members indicates that two-thirds of the respondents said they plan to buy an Xbox One or PS4 within the next year.
However, there is some concern that some people may have not been bit by the console gaming bug. Many in the younger generation have grown up on mobile devices and may never even begin playing and/or watching on the console. This is evident as PC sales have been declining as well due to a growing mobile reliance.
"We've lost some gamers into other things," Paul Raines, chief executive of GameStop, said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal.
Mobile games account for some of that decline, he noted. But he added that using social media and streaming videos online has just as much of an impact.
However, both Microsoft and Sony have reason to celebrate. A combined two million+ units sold in a week is enough to suggest that the once lagging video game market may now be on a once-again upward trend.
Market research group PricewaterhouseCoopers said it expects console game sales to rise 4.2 percent globally this year. The firm also projects another 6.4 percent jump in 2014. While this is still far lower than the 28 percent growth the industry saw in 2007 when the last line of next-gen consoles were released, it is an encouraging sign for the top console makers.
As far as the Xbox One is concerned, there are a number of reasons to be upbeat.
The inclusions in Xbox One make it very similar to its predecessor, the Xbox 360, but it takes everything that that system offered and catapults into a new generation of entertainment. Not only were 22 games available on launch day, including “Dead Rising 3” and Forza Motorsport 5,” but the next-gen console also features live TV, web-browsing, chatting with Skype, movies and music and more. And also, Xbox One comes pre-equipped with the Kinect 2.0 sensor, which will allow users to control their system with their hands as well as with a newly added feature: voice commands.
Liz High, an analyst for analytics firm SDL PLC, said features such as these could be a big help to Microsoft in the coming years. She told WSJ that social media conversations and consumer purchasing habits suggest that Microsoft’s approach of marketing to a wider audience will most likely be more effective with future consumers.
Perhaps the most surprising numbers were not that of record sales for Xbox One, but for the massive line of achievements that consumers experienced in the first 24 hours of gameplay.
The Xbox One blog said that during the first 24 hours, gamers killed more than 60 million zombies in “Dead Rising 3;” drove over 3.6 million miles in “Forza Motorsport 5;” defeated more than 8.5 million enemies in “Ryse: Son of Rome;” and earned more than 43.3 million Fit Points in Xbox Fitness.
- Bryan P. Carpender for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
As the clock counts down to the upcoming launch of Microsoft’s Xbox One on Friday, the buzz is increasing and comparisons to Sony’s PlayStation 4 abound.
The newly redesigned Xbox One console cuts an imposing figure. It’s substantially larger than its predecessor, sacrificing aesthetics and sleek lines in favor of a cumbersome device that Microsoft hopes will be more than just another gaming console. They want it to be the epicenter of home entertainment.
The design team settled on a sizable black rectangle, with equal parts matte and glossy. In defending their design choice, the team claims they looked to “high-definition TV manufacturers” for inspiration in their attempt to make a device that would fade into the background, becoming unnoticeable.
The black-on-black color palette extends to the newly redesigned controller in hopes of making the brightly colored gamepad buttons really pop for users. But this redesign is not just about monochromatic minimalism; it’s part of the branding strategy to transform the game console to a one-stop-shop for digital entertainment to satisfy the entire family—and keep an eye on you.
The device might be designed to fade into the background, but its high tech interface puts your entertainment front and center.
[ Watch the video: Xbox One - Invitation ]
They say that ninety percent of life is just showing up. This holds true, because that’s all you need to do. Nothing to type, not even a voice command. Xbox One sees you with its camera and logs you in automatically, allowing you to pick up exactly where you left off. Recent apps are ready to go and you can even resume your last played game exactly where you left it.
Your sci-fi childhood dreams get at least partially fulfilled with the voice command feature. Want to watch live TV? Simply speak the command, “Xbox, watch TV” and you’re watching whatever channel your cable box is on. However, accessing your DVR or on-demand programming will require you to use your cable remote.
Want to return to your homepage? “Xbox, show me my stuff” is all it takes. Though if someone else in the room speaks a command, it will use the camera’s facial recognition capabilities to recognize the speaker and bring up their info instead, provided they already have a profile setup inside your Xbox.
You can really have a Tony Stark moment if you walk into the dark room and say, “Xbox on.” This causes the console to power up and get ready to entertain you. Even better, if you have a home theater system, Xbox can send infrared commands to those devices, too, once you have set that up and indicated their brands and/or models.
Since we are all about multitasking, here is where the “snap” feature will come in handy. It allows you to “snap” apps to the side panel, running two apps at once. Track your fantasy football team in real time by snapping the NFL app to the side. Or watch TV while playing a game simultaneously.
If you’re super social, get a few friends together for a video chat on Skype, bring up the same movie and watch it together to provide your own running commentary. When the credits roll and you’re done, a simple “Xbox, hang up” will disconnect and end the session.
The apps for Xbox One that have been announced include a little something for everyone, including some of the most popular stuff out there: Hulu Plus; Netflix; The NFL on Xbox One; VUDU; ESPN; TED; and HBO GO. Plus, there’s Xbox Fitness, Skype, and Internet Explorer for full web browsing capabilities. In short, you won’t get bored.
Even with all this extra goodness, let’s not forget that Xbox One is, at its core, a game console. Included in the starting lineup for the launch are titles that run the spectrum, with something for everyone in the family.
“Dead Rising 3” is zombie-killing mayhem with improved graphics. “Killer Instinct” is an old-school fighting game. For the adrenaline junkie, there’s “Forza Motorsport 5” in all its incredible and realistic detail. And in case the gory gladiator hash-and-pillage action of “Ryse: The Son of Rome” isn’t your thing, there’s the benign sim game “Zoo Tycoon.”
These new crowd-pleasers put the console’s hardware to good use, using the voice commands and Kinect camera to interact on a new level. Order your soldier to fire a volley of arrows or distract attacking zombies with a shouted command. You can even interact with the virtual animals and have gestures mimicked, thanks to the Kinect camera’s sensors.
Whether Xbox One can live up to all the hype remains to be seen, but Microsoft has certainly made strides toward establishing it as the nerve center of your home entertainment options.
Although, you might have to move your electronic components around to make room for this new flagship device as Xbox One competes for the title of "Big Man On Campus."
The competition heats up this Friday, November 22nd.
Image Below: Screenshot of Forza Motorsport 5, only on Xbox One. Credit: Xbox
- redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online
More than one million PlayStation 4 (PS4) video game consoles were sold in North America in the first 24 hours following the system's release, Sony executives announced via social media on Sunday.
According to IGN’s Andrew Goldfarb, Sony Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida first reported the sales figures via Twitter, tweeting that the company’s first new gaming system in seven years had “sold through over 1 million units within 24 hours of the launch in North America!”
The figure was later confirmed by Adam Boyes, Sony Vice President of publisher and developer relations, who thanked gamers for their role in the milestone, Goldfarb added. The $399 PS4 shipped in North America on November 15 and is scheduled to launch in Europe on November 29th and in Japan sometime in 2014.
Sony expects to sell five million PS4 units by the end of its fiscal year in March 2014, the Associated Press (AP) said. Microsoft, Sony’s chief rival in the gaming market, is scheduled to launch their new Xbox One console this week.
The PS4 “is now Sony’s fastest-selling console, with North American sales surpassing the initial demand for the PlayStation 2 in Japan,” Tom Warren of The Verge said. “European sales of the PS4 start in just under two weeks, so it’s entirely possible that Sony’s next-gen console could overtake Nintendo’s struggling Wii U sales (currently 3.91 million) by the end of the year.”
The new launch did not go 100 percent smoothly, though. According to Mike Snider of USA Today, some new PS4 owners have complained that their systems would not display video and had a flashing light.
In a statement, Sony acknowledged that “a handful of people” had reported problems, but that the number of incidents were “within our expectations for a new product introduction” and that the “vast majority of PS4 feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.” Warren added that Sony claims that just 0.4 percent of systems are affected, but that over one-third of PS4 reviews on Amazon complained of hardware failures.
“The highly publicized release of PS4 attracted the attention of some thieves,” Snider added. A pair of men were arrested in Bakersfield, California after robbing a customer of a PS4 outside of a store there, and in Hutchinson, Kansas, a PS4 was taken from a home early Saturday morning.