In the days following the launch of the PlayStation 4, Sony announced it had sold 1 million PS4s in North America. Now that we’re one day into the public life of the Xbox One, Microsoft has announced a similar achievement, divulging that it has sold 1 million Xbox One consoles in less than 24 hours. But the milestone is truly similar, not identical. Microsoft’s carefully worded statement reiterates the total being worldwide; Sony’s was in North America alone.
Conspiracy theorists and fanboys are bound to read that with a fine-toothed comb. After all, they’ll say, it clearly indicates that Microsoft’s a failure and that the Xbox One is doomed to play second fiddle in the next-gen console wars forever more to the PS4. But that’s a completely premature conjecture.
Sony’s total was in fact for North America alone, which is an impressive feat. Moving a million consoles in one territory in just 24 hours is nuts. Microsoft, on the other hand, had to look to the rest of the world in order to get the same figure. But that doesn’t mean the Xbox One is a failure. Quite the contrary, it actually shows Microsoft made up significant ground in the PR battle coming out of an E3 trade show that was pretty much disastrous for them.
Sony’s PlayStation platform has historically been more popular abroad than Microsoft’s Xbox platform, so when European and Asian sales are accounted for in the coming weeks, the PS4 may end up with a larger initial install base. The end battle will still come down to software, however, and early reviews of both next-gen consoles seem to give Microsoft the edge in that regard. There are currently 22 game titles for Xbox One available today, including 10 exclusives.
When announcing its 24-hour sales results for Xbox One, Microsoft said “Xbox One is now sold out at most retailers. We are working to replenish stock as fast as possible to meet the unprecedented demand from our customers.”
Whether you’re a Sony fan, Microsoft fan or just a platform-agnostic fan of games in general, that’s an encouraging statement. Sony had great success in 24 hours, as did Microsoft. The news that both platforms are selling well means all gamers will likely see better content even sooner, as software is seldom if ever released for poor-selling systems (see: Nintendo Wii U).