Sony, Microsoft offer updates on console sales


FILE - In this Friday, Nov. 22, 2013 file photo, The Xbox One is on display at a Best Buy store in Evanston, Ill. There's a couple of new foes affecting gamers who are proving to be far more destructive than any on-screen villains. With foreboding nicknames like "the blue light of death" and "the disc drive of doom," they're the glitches putting a hamper on the next-generation gaming systems Xbox One and PlayStation 4. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File) (Nam Y. Huh/AP)
December 4, 2013

The console wars continue as we head into the throes of the holiday season, and Microsoft and Sony are dribbling out news about their sales figures.

Sony fired off a second volley Monday by announcing hard numbers: It had sold 2.1 million units across its 32 global markets.

Microsoft quickly answered with some more numbers of its own, though it opted not to offer sales figures. Instead, the company put up stats on how gamers have played with the console, boasting that Xbox One owners had killed more than 3 billion zombies in “Dead Rising 3,” driven more than 90 million miles in “Forza 5” and earned over 415 million Gamerscore points on its Xbox Live network.

As for sales, the company simply said that demand is “far exceeding supply” in its 13 launch markets and that it is “selling every Xbox One we can make.”

Both companies have said they sold more than 1 million consoles in the first 24 hours of launch — Sony’s figure was for the United States and Canada, while Microsoft’s covered all of its launch markets.

Early sales figures don’t necessarily speak to the long-term success of a console, but they could help out some early buyers trying to figure out which console gives them the most chance of playing with their friends. Gamers tend to pick up the consoles their friends are using, even more so now that online multiplayer games have become such an important part of so many titles.

Good sales figures can also help console makers tout the strength of their platforms to developers. Both Microsoft and Sony have courting independent developers in an effort to bring new, novel games to their devices. Games, after all, are always the key to winning the console market over time.

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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