Last week, Sony hardware marketing head John Koller told us the PlayStation 4 had outsold Microsoft’s Xbox One two-to-one in January. But he didn’t offer a hard figure, and the last number we’d seen from the company was in early January, when Sony’s Andrew House said the PS4 had surpassed 4.2 million units sold worldwide, from November 15 through December 28.
What’s happened since December? This morning Sony got specific, listing the total number of PlayStation 4s sold-through worldwide — that is, purchased by consumers, not just shipped to stores — at 5.3 million units. That’s through February 8, so up more than one million units over the six weeks of sales that followed the last figure.
Sony estimated that figure from sales in North America and Latin America as well as Europa and Asia, but it’s on the verge of a major addition: the PS4 launches in Japan on February 22 with over two dozen titles, including region-unique debuts like action/roleplaying game Dynasty Warriors 8, a tactical roleplaying entry from Tecmo Koei in the Nobunaga’s Ambition series and Ryū ga Gotoku Ishin!, an open-world action/adventure from Sega.
Microsoft’s marking wing, now playing the role Sony occupied for years when month-to-month PS3 sales lagged behind the Xbox 360, has been quieter about specific Xbox One sales totals — the last time we heard from Microsoft marketing honcho Yusuf Mehdi in early January, the Xbox One had sold in the vicinity of three million units worldwide. But at risk of needle-dropping the proverbial broken record, you don’t have to win the hardware numbers game, you just have to be in the same neighborhood.
Software’s generally where your revenue stream’s at, so when Microsoft noted last week that it accounted for 47% of all U.S. video game software sales across all platforms, with an attach rate of nearly three games per console since launch, it may well have had the most profitable January. And with Titanfall about to launch (my review of the beta is here), Microsoft could well make up for hypothetical hardware sales lag.
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