Sony’s PlayStation sells 1 million units on launch day, but faces some problems

November 18, 2013

Sony is celebrating after reporting that its new PlayStation 4 sold 1 million units in the first 24 hours of going on sale. In a release Monday, the company said that reaction to the console’s launch — which started on Friday in the United States and Canada — has been “phenomenal.” While the firm didn’t release numbers on sales into the weekend, Sony executive Andrew House said the PlayStation 4 is continuing to do well.

“Sales remain very strong in North America, and we expect continued enthusiasm as we launch the PlayStation 4 in Europe and Latin America on November 29,” said House, who is the president and group chief executive of Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc. “We are extremely grateful for the passion of PlayStation fans and thank them for their continued support.”

The PlayStation 4’s first day sales has outdone the performance of the 2007 launch of PlayStation 3, when supply issues forced the firm to delay the launch and then release only a limited number of units in the United States. An Associated Press report from 2006 reported the firm had only made 400,000 systems available for the U.S. nationwide launch.

Still, the PlayStation 4’s debut hasn’t been completely smooth. A handful of customers have left unfavorable reviews for the console online, saying that they are having trouble getting the units to turn on or are having problems with the connection between their consoles and their televisions. Some of these problems were detailed in early reviews of the product last week, as well as by customers who got their units early through special promotions and contests.

(I haven’t personally experienced any of these issues with the review unit I received from Sony.)

Sony Computer Entertainment’s worldwide president, Shuhei Yoshida, took to Twitter on Thursday as news of the problems began to dribble onto the Web.

“Be assured we are investigating reported PS4 issues,” Yoshida said. “The number is very small compared to shipped, we believe they are isolated incidents.”

As of Monday, Sony had posted a guide to dealing with the power and connection issues on its official community forums, offering troubleshooting tips for hardware and software problems. One suggestion for those having problems is to open up the console and make sure that the console’s hard drive — which is only secured with a single screw — is properly seated in the device.

Kotaku reviewer Stephen Totilo, who reported that he was having problems with the HDMI port on the console, also reported that Sony representatives were able to fix his issue by adjusting the position of the port with a pin.

Sony has also asked that those with problems share with the company a description of the problem, the brand and model of their television, the name of the retailer where they bought their console and any troubleshooting steps they’ve tried.

You can submit problems to the PlayStation support Web site; the company recommends you try its live chat customer service feature instead of its phone line.

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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