Sony Hits High Point with PS4 Sales, but Brand Still Fights for Relevance in Mobile Gaming Age

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Sony scored a hit this weekend when its PlayStation 4 went on sale to the masses, selling over 1 million of the $399 consoles in the first 24 hours. 

But with any major launch, Sony ran into a few problem. “A handful of people have reported issues with their PlayStation 4 systems,” Sony said in a statement to IGN. “There have been several problems reported, which leads us to believe there isn’t a singular problem that could impact a broader percentage of systems. The number of affected systems represents less than .4 percent of shipped units to date, which is within our expectations for a new product introduction.”

The launch is significant for the brand, which hasn’t had a new console since it unveiled its PlayStation 3 in 2006—an unprecedented seven-year gap in the tech world. That console only sold 197,000 units in the first month, but the debut of the PlayStation 4 holds much more weight. Sony reported a 25 percent loss in its second quarter due to “the poor performance of its movies and TV shows in the pictures division” and lowered its full-year profit outlook from $509 million to $305 million.[more]

It remains to be seen if putting the new console on sale ahead of the holiday rush will benefit sales throughout the whole season or not. Microsoft, on the other hand, is choosing to put its Xbox One on the market a little closer to the holidays.

“No other consoles in the US sold 1 million sets during the first day, so I think having some issue is not unusual,” Hideki Yasuda, an analyst at Ace Research Institute in Tokyo, told Bloomberg. “In the long term, the major problem will be whether it can continue to provide interesting game software.”

And that may be the biggest challenge of all. With mobile-based games encroaching on traditional game console territory, brands like Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo have been forced to create better experiences, faster, and for a lot cheaper.

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