At CES 2014, Sony has announced that the PS4 has sold 4.2 million units as of December 28, 2013. Yesterday, Microsoft revealed that it had sold 3 million Xbox Ones as of the end of 2013. It would appear that the PS4 is outselling the Xbox One by some margin, but the bigger picture is actually a lot more complex than that.
Let’s break it down. As of December 28, the PS4 had been on sale for 43 days and sold 4.2 million units. By December 28, the PS4 was available in 48 territories. If we divide 4.2 million by 43 days, we get a figure of around 98,000 units sold per day — not bad!
As of the end of December 31, the Xbox One had been on sale for 39 days and sold 3 million units. By December 31, the Xbox One was available in 13 territories. 3 million in 39 days equates to around 77,000 units per day.
From these figures, it’s clear that the PS4 is outselling the Xbox One. Even if you gave the Xbox One another week to catch up, to make up for the PS4′s earlier release, we’d still only be looking at 3.54 million Xboxes vs. 4.2 million PS4s. (Read: PS4 owners watch three times more porn and have better taste than Xbox One owners.)
The one gotcha is that the Xbox One is only available in 13 countries and territories, while the PS4 is currently available in 53 (it has been released in five more since December 28). You could argue that, when the Xbox One is more widely released, it will catch the PS4 in sales. Considering the Xbox One is already available in all of its major stomping grounds (the US, EU, Australia, Brazil), and the PS4 isn’t yet available in its home territory (Japan), I find it hard to believe that Microsoft will magically catch up.
No matter which way you split it, then, the PS4 is currently winning the eighth-generation console war. If we look beyond the numbers, though, the big picture is that both consoles are doing really, really well. Despite being in second place, the Xbox One is still doing much better than the PS3 or Xbox 360. In fact, the PS4 and Xbox One seem to be the two fastest selling video game consoles of all time. I don’t think anyone predicted that Microsoft and Sony would sell a combined total of 7.2 million consoles in the last six weeks of 2013. Yes, the PS4 might be the winner in absolute terms, but it is console gaming in general that stands to win from these huge sales figures. The next couple of years will be very exciting for gaming.