PS4 on Track to Double PS3’s First Year Sales

The two systems are getting off to two very different starts...good news for Sony.

The two systems are getting off to two very different starts…good news for Sony.

In many ways, the PlayStation 4 remains the industry’s darling. But perhaps it has attained this position simply because it’s starting its lifespan on a much better note than its predecessor.

The PlayStation 3 launch was abysmal. Sony cut the North American launch shipments in half only a few days before the scheduled release date, and that was only the start of the problems. The $600 60GB PS3 was hardly attractive, as it featured a ridiculously high price tag (double the price of the PS2 when it launched), a limited launch software lineup, a high-definition format – Blu-Ray – that hadn’t yet defeated HD-DVD, and a PlayStation Network that was still in its infancy.

It wasn’t too surprising to learn that Sony had difficulty selling PS3s right out of the gate. However, when all was said and done, the PS3 and Xbox 360 sold just about the same number of units in their first year of availability. Sources offer slightly varying statistics but as far as we can tell, each system sold approximately 6 million units worldwide in their first year. Of course, the Xbox 360 didn’t really have any competition – outside of the PS2 – as the PS3 didn’t launch until over a year later.

One of these two systems might experience a 100% increase in sales when compared with its predecessor.

One of these two systems might experience a 100% increase in sales when compared with its predecessor.

However, in direct comparison, let’s look at the sales progress of the PS4 and Xbox One, about nine months into the new era: The latest sales estimate for Sony’s console sits at around 10 million, while the Xbox One is hovering around 6 million. Again, these aren’t official numbers, so we’re only estimating, here. Two things of note in examining these statistics:

First, it appears both new consoles will top their predecessors in first-year sales. Second, while the Xbox One will likely enjoy a modest increase (what, 7 or 8 million in its first year?), the PS4 could feasibly double the first-year sales of the PS3. It’s not impossible that Sony could shift a few more million in the next three months, especially with Destiny hovering on the horizon. And if the PS4 sold 12 million in its first 12 months, as opposed to the 6 million the PS3 moved, well…that’s quite the achievement, wouldn’t you say?

As for the Wii and Wii U, first-year performances couldn’t be more opposite. The Wii exploded out of the gate while the Wii U didn’t exactly “explode;” first-year numbers for the latter are a mere fraction of what they were for the former. One last note: Don’t forget the different times of the European launches for all consoles mentioned. Once you take that into account, things get a little trickier.

6 thoughts on “PS4 on Track to Double PS3’s First Year Sales”


But I actually expected the PS4 to sell even more…I’m surprised the PS3 managed to sell 6 million in its first year. Felt like one million with the way everyone was freaking out.

Yeah, during that first year, all you ever saw were headlines about how the PS3 had “failed” and would be “dead in a year” or some such crap.

All the haters disappeared pretty quick after that, though. 😉

No big surprise there. The PS3 had a historically awful first year, I thought.

I’m more surprised that the Xbox One has even sold 6 million. I don’t get the appeal of that system at ALL.

Ooooh…I can watch TV in different ways. Yeah, that’s why I spent my money on a VIDEO GAME CONSOLE. :rolling eyes:

I don’t get that either.

And PS4 is gonna STAY on top. 😀

When I heard about that feature for the Xbox One, I just couldn’t comprehend how anyone would fall in love with it…this is about VIDEO GAMES, as you said.

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