Dec. 3, 2013 at 7:59 PM ET
Two weeks after it launched its next-generation video game console, Sony has sold more than 2.1 million PlayStation 4 units, Sony Computer Entertainment president and group CEO Andrew House said in a statement on the PlayStation blog.
The PlayStation 4 first launched in North America on Nov. 15, capturing an install base of over one million gamers in its first 24 hours on the market. Since Sony extended the PS4's reach to the 32 countries in which it's currently available, the company hasn't quite managed to keep up that rapid pace for its sales. But House said that the 2.1 million figure nevertheless represents a new record for the company.
"It's an impressive and record-setting accomplishment for our company and for our industry, and we couldn't have done it without you," House wrote on the PlayStation blog. "I want to personally thank PlayStation fans, both old and new, for your vote of confidence."
The new sales figures represent a marked, if unsurprising, improvement from Sony's performance from the 2006 launch of the PS4's predecessor, the PlayStation 3, which came out a year after the Xbox 360 and at a prohibitively high price point of $600. According to a Financial Times report from 2007, it took Sony four months to sell 1.1 million PS3 consoles in North America.
Microsoft, which announced that it had broken the one million barrier for its rival Xbox One console the day it launched in the U.S. on Nov. 22, hasn't revealed any more up-to-date sales information for its console since then. But many game industry analysts including Piers Harding-Rolls of IHS Electronics and Media and Michael Pachter of Wedbush Securities have predicted that the PS4 will outsell the Xbox One.
That being said, Harding-Rolls told NBC News that while "it's a little foolhardy to read too deeply into launch sales of the new consoles," the PS4's strong early showing still managed to beat his firm's expectations. He credits the console's "lower price" — at $400, the PS4 is $100 less than the Xbox One — along with "a more active and engaged set of PlayStation consumers that have been won over during 10 months of very successful product positioning from Sony" for helping the company's sales.
Despite any early success, however, Harding-Rolls insisted that "long term performance depends a lot on how each platform successfully builds its portfolio of content for their devices, so that will be the key deciding factor on who comes out on top." And as many early reviewers (including yours truly) said of the PS4, it doesn't really have any good games yet.
In his statement, House tried to assuage any concerns about a lack of compelling content for the PS4.
"The PS4 journey has just begun," House wrote. "In addition to an incredible lineup of PS4 games from the best developers in the world, we will continue to introduce valuable new features and services to PS4 in the months and years ahead."
No doubt, the many gamers who have already invested in his company's new console hope that House will be proven right in the months and years to come.
Microsoft released its own statement Tuesday afternoon, touting “unprecedented demand” for Xbox One.
On its Xbox blog , Yusuf Mehd, corporate vice president of marketing and strategy at Xbox, said: “Eleven days in we are seeing record breaking sales and are selling every Xbox One we can make. Demand is far exceeding supply in the 13 countries we’ve launched and we are sold out at retailers around the world.”
Microsoft didn’t provide specific unit sales numbers, choosing instead to tout user game stats such as “over 3 billion zombies killed in ‘Dead Rising 3’” and “over 90 million miles driven in ‘Forza Motorsport 5.’”
Yannick LeJacq is a contributing writer for NBC News who has also covered technology and games for Kill Screen, The Wall Street Journal and The Atlantic. You can follow him on Twitter at @YannickLeJacq and reach him by email at: Yannick.LeJacq@nbcuni.com