Last week, Sony announced that they had sold through 7 million PS4s. Now we have numbers from Microsoft. They are seriously impressive, although they highlight a key point.
When companies say they have “sold through” however many units, that means that those units were purchased by consumers. Products that are “sold-in” are those that are shipped to retail. For those who have sought to buy a new generation console in the past few months, it is readily apparent which one is more available. Last month, I could have walked out of a random Target in LA with an Xbox One, but the PS4 simply wasn’t in stock. So, when Sony says that 7 million PS4s have been sold through, that means that there are 7 million new generation Sony consoles in homes, offices, basements, arcades and other console-friendly environments around the world. Now, Microsoft is responding with their figure.
Having sold 311k Xbox Ones in March, the new console passed 5 million units sold in (shipped to retail). Remembering that the Xbox One is only available in a limited number of regions, that is seriously impressive. Xbox corporate VP Yusuf Mehdi explained:
The new generation is off to a strong start, with global Xbox One sales outpacing Xbox 360 by more than 60 percent at the same point in time. […] Even more important to us is how much fun you are having on Xbox One. It’s amazing that Xbox One fans are spending an average of five hours per day on Xbox One and collectively have totaled more than one billion hours of time spent in games and apps on the console.
Considering how successful the Xbox 360 was/is, it’s particularly interesting to see how much faster this console is selling. Is this a sign that it will outpace the 360’s overall success, or will things peter out after the early adopters get their hands on those vibrating triggers? It certainly is encouraging for Microsoft to ship so many units when the console hasn’t even been out for six months yet – it would seems that they managed to redirect their PR and give consistent messages to gamers after their rocky start. Of course, the new generation is just getting started. Mehdi elaborated:
The team will continue to deliver regular improvements and new features based on your feedback through frequent system updates. Many more games are on the way with titles like Sunset Overdrive and Project Spark, many new games coming to Xbox One through the [email protected] program, and many more entertainment experiences. We can’t wait to share more games with you in June at E3.
I’m also keen to see what’s announced at E3 this year. Now that the consoles are out of the way, it will be great for the press conferences to return to their focus on the games.
Last Updated: April 22, 2014