MICROSOFT sold more than 1m new Xbox One consoles over the weekend, breaking its previous record with the Xbox 360 and matching Sony’s PlayStation 4 (PS4) launch numbers from last weekend.
“We are humbled and grateful for the excitement of Xbox fans around the world,” said Xbox vice president of marketing and strategy Yusuf Mehdi, adding, “We are working hard to create more Xbox One consoles and look forward to fulfilling holiday gift wishes this season.”
High street store John Lewis mentioned Microsoft’s launch in a retail update, saying its release had prompted an uptick in electrical sales.
“We benefitted this week from the launch of Microsoft’s new Xbox One Console which sold out within two hours of being available online,” the retailer said.
But Playstation and Microsoft are not quite neck and neck, despite having both passed the 1m sales mark.
Microsoft’s Xbox One went on sale in 13 markets across Europe, America and Australia this weekend, while Sony’s 1m PlayStation 4 sales came only from North America last weekend (it will launch across Europe and Latin America this week).
Research firm IHS expects Microsoft to sell 38m Xbox One consoles by the end of 2017, with Sony managing 49m PS4 consoles in the same time frame.
IHS believes Sony has an advantage due to its cheaper price – Sony’s PlayStation 4 sells for £80 less than the Xbox One – and its larger number of launch markets this year. The Xbox One launched in 13 markets, while PS4 will launch in 32 markets in 2013.
Meanwhile Nintendo is expected to remain in a distant third position over the next few years with declining sales momentum surrounding its Wii U console that launched last year. Nintendo has sold 3.9m units of its console as of 30 September, the company maintains a sales target of 9m by March 2014.
While both Microsoft and Sony claim their games console launches have broken records, research company Gartner predicts the games console market will shrink as a portion of the total video games market.
Gartner expects the console games market to grow 11 per cent next year to $49.3bn worldwide, a slow down from the 18 per cent growth that has been seen this year. While mobile and smartphone gaming will outpace this with expected growth of 29 per cent next year to $17.1bn.
Sony’s PlayStation 4 goes on sale in the UK on Friday and will sell for £349. Microsoft’s Xbox One is currently on sale at £429.