Sony has passed another milestone with the PlayStation 4, selling over 6 million consoles globally in less than four months. The news comes directly from the manufacturer, and the numbers include the sales from the recent February 22 launch of the PS4 in Japan. That 6 million comes as no real surprise following the impressive launch of the system in Japan, where it sold over 322,000 units in just two days. Prior to that, the PS4 had sold around 5.3 million.
The real question is what happens next?
Following the release of the system in Japan, the PS4 has officially been launched all around the world, with no further major regional launches planned. That means it is time for Sony to adopt a new focus, in terms of both marketing and developing the console. You can make a strong argument that the people that purchased PS4s to this point were always going to buy the console. Whether that was due to loyalty to Sony’s gaming family or they were simply won over by the system doesn’t really matter. Six million people around the world lined up and put money down to be among the first to own Sony’s new console. But what about everyone else?
Now that the launches are done and Sony is no longer working under deadline to provide a certain number of consoles to a particular region, supply should begin to increase to regions with heavier demand. Within the next few months, the PS4 should be easy to obtain. Before that happens, there will likely be at least one more spike in sales as backorders are filled, but after that Sony’s strategy will shift, and it will need to try to attract the potential gamers that may still be on the fence for purchasing a new console (or those still deciding which next-gen system to buy).
The games are going to play a major factor, of course. Next-gen titles like Watch Dogs, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain should help convince many to buy a new system. The lineup of Sony’s console-exclusive games is looking strong as well, and includes Diablo III, Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number, and The Witness. PS4 exclusives including The Order: 1886, Uncharted 4, and the upcoming Infamous: Second Son should all help to move units as well.
The PlayStation 4 is a growing and evolving system, and many possible adopters are waiting for it to fulfill some of its promises before picking one up. HBO Go was recently released on the PlayStation 3, and a PS4 version has been promised; a YouTube app is long overdue already and more apps are expected to follow. We’re still waiting on USB and DLNA support as well – neither of which have officially been confirmed, but both of which have been rumored to be coming in a later update. MP3 support remains up in the air as well. The system still has a long way to go.
Although the Xbox family has never really been embraced in Japan, Microsoft is still planning a launch in that region sometime this year. For the most part though, both systems have concluded their global launch plans. Now we move on to the next phase of the console war, where we begin to see the systems give us a hint at their potential. The honeymoon is over, and the battle continues.