Sony

The PlayStation 4 sold one million units in 24 hours, a number that is even crazier in context

The PlayStation 4 sold one million units in 24 hours, a number that is even crazier in context

Sony has announced that over one million PlayStation 4 consoles were sold to consumers in the first 24 hours of availability. It’s important to put some context around that number in order to drive home the power of that number.

The system has only launched in the United States and Canada, so the million was sold just in North America. That’s the first thing to remember.

The second thing to keep in mind is that, despite the belief that console sales may constrict during this generation, this was the largest console launch in history. The Wii was one of the most wildly popular systems in the current generation, it launched over Black Friday, and demand for the console was immense. It sold 600,000 units in its first eight days of availability.

The Wii U sold 400,000 units in its first week of sales. If you combine the overall sales of the Wii and Wii U across their first week, you match the first day of the PlayStation 4. Let that sink in a bit.

Still not impressed?  The Xbox 360 sold 326,000 units in its first eight days of availability. The PlayStation 2? 500,000 units on the first day. The PlayStation 4 isn’t beating these records as much as it’s crushing them like a ripe grape.

This isn't just a triumph of consumer support, but of logistics. Many of the console listed above would have sold more if more units had been sent to retail; simply having one million pieces of hardware available for launch to capitalize on the strong demand is in itself a feat. You can't sell 'em if you don't have 'em, and they won't buy 'em if they don't want 'em. Sony nailed almost every aspect of this launch.

This is great news for the PlayStation 4, but it puts some serious pressure on Microsoft to launch at similar numbers or risk conceding an early win in the holiday sales race to the PlayStation 4. Selling one million pieces of hardware on the first day isn’t a good number, it’s above and beyond what anyone has been able to do historically on the first day of a system launch.

Your move, Microsoft.