Sony’s popular console continues to roll.
The company announced today that it sold 5.7 million PlayStation 4s during the holiday season. This brings the system’s cumulative worldwide total to 35.9 million PS4 units sold since November 2013 — and that makes it one of the fastest-selling systems ever. In the United States, we already know that the PS4 outsold the Xbox One in November at physical retailers, and we’ll find out next week about the December results.
Sony’s “holiday season” runs from November 22 through January 2. That’s a lot of systems to sell in a little over 40 days. But to put that into perspective, the best three-month periods the PlayStation 3 ever had (while Sony still reported those numbers) were September through December in both 2009 and 2011. In each of those quarters, the company sold 6.5 million PlayStation 3s. But that was in 90 days. In less than half that time, the PS4 has sold 5.7 million. While the other 45-or-so days of sales come from before the big shopping days, you can still expect Sony to have easily surpassed the PS3’s record.
The PS4’s success comes despite some glaring shortcomings for the system this past holiday. The console didn’t have any major exclusives to rely on through the holidays — especially compared to the Xbox One’s Rise of the Tomb Raider (which has surpassed 1 million copies sold) and Halo 5: Guardians. But gamers don’t seem to care. They want the PlayStation 4 even if most of its best games are multiplatform third-party releases.
Now, none of this is to say that the Xbox One is failing. The console had a big November, and Microsoft claims that December 28 had more Xbox Live players than any other day in history. Microsoft hasn’t provided sales figures, but we’ve heard repeatedly from analysts that the combined sales of the PS4 and Xbox One are around 40 percent ahead of where the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 were at this point in their release cycle — which means we have a market supporting two healthy consoles.