Console History: Where does the PS4 stand with first week sales?

For all intents and purposes, the PS4 has done extremely well in the first week after its launch.  While we don’t have the actual sales figures yet concerning just how many units were sold, we do know that over 1 million were scooped up in the first day alone.  Technically speaking, this is unprecedented; in fact, it’s now safe to say that the PlayStation 4 has sold faster than any other gaming console released to date.  For instance, it’s being reported by retailers such as GameStop that sales of the PS4 in their stores have already surpassed those of the PS3’s first 3 months.  In other words, it looks like Sony’s new offering is on track to become the best-selling console in history.

Regardless of whether or not you’re a fan of the PS4 (maybe you’re into Microsoft’s stuff?) there’s still an important thing to take away from this amazing news – consoles are still selling.  Let’s face it, with mobile devices on the rise and new developers springing up everywhere creating apps and games for them, it’s not out of place for manufacturers to be worried.  The conventional video game console market has been dealing with these pressures, among many others, which makes these initial strong sales stats seem very comforting.

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It’s also been suggested that the entire market has expanded to include many new customers, which certainly seems to be true, with new graphical possibilities reigniting interest.   Whether or not 8th generation consoles like the PS4 are just much more appealing than previous models is unclear though.  Additional factors such as hype, marketing and the quality of applicable software (games, apps and perhaps also subscription-based services) are no doubt playing a large role when it comes to the popularity of 8th gen. console gaming.

You have to keep in mind here that the entire platform-based video game market is largely interconnected / interdependent.  For example, Sony has already made it abundantly clear that they have to sell the PS4 at an initial loss, due to hardware purchasing costs.  Of course with their strong launch sales, they’ve almost completely recouped their expenses, which is a major step toward turning the device into another cash cow.  The plan they’ve outlined is one which is largely reliant on software sales; in other words, if game developers can really deliver the goods, the PS4 will net Sony a sizable fortune.  Comparatively, when you look at the markets for smartphones, tablets and the like, you see more of a disconnect – the companies that sell these devices often have little to no affiliation with software developers when it comes to profit-sharing.

Console Sales

All of this matters because the entire console market is dependent on solid, dependable sales just to keep it afloat.  It takes quite a lot of effort to sustain production of these gaming machines, which in turn means that profits need to be garnered.  If the PS4 had performed poorly, it would most likely have sounded the end of the entire console market – in this way, Microsoft and the Xbox ONE might even owe their continued existence to the success of Sony and the PS4.  Moreover, as we see competing ideas being teased for release, such as the streaming-powered SteamBox (which would make use of the online gaming service, “Steam”), we’re likely to see increased antagonism arising.  After all, we have to keep in mind that it’s not just a great outing that makes or breaks a console, it’s steady sales.

Consider the fact that the…

  • PS3 has sold in excess of 80 million units (up to this point)

  • Xbox 360 has sold upwards of around 79 million consoles (up to this point)

  • Wii has sold around 100 million units

  • PS2 has sold a staggering 150 million consoles

In short, the PS4 has quite a way to go if it is to be crowned “king” of consoles.  Likewise, we continue to see new devices, technological breakthroughs, and numerous other diversions cropping up on the horizon all the time, each example stealing away some attention for conventional gaming consoles.  At the same time, the overall level of activity within the realm of consumer electronics seems to be steadily increasing on all fronts, mirroring the exponential aggregation of data in some ways.

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So, where does the PS4 stand with first week sales?   To be succinct, it would seem that the PS4’s initial outing is an awesome prelude for great things yet to come.  Of course we can’t know for sure just how everything’s going to turn out after a year’s time, anything can happen, after all.   However, given the strong-looking crop of titles which are soon to be available for the PS4, it’s safe to say that Sony’s going to do quite well in 2014 and 2015.

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