PlayStation 4 Passes 20 Million Consoles Sold, Continues Astounding Pace

Sales of Sony’s PlayStation 4 continue to roll and show no sign of slowing down. The company announced Tuesday that the console reached a new sales milestone just a year and three months from its launch.

The PlayStation 4 has sold through more than 20.2 million consoles to consumers worldwide as of March 1, Sony revealed. “Sold through” is the count of the number of units in the hands of consumers versus shipped to retailers, an important distinction in the ongoing console war with Microsoft’s Xbox One.

It was only this past January that Sony announced the PS4 had sold 18.5 million units worldwide, as the Inquistr reported. That means the console sold another 1.8 million in just two months.

“We are so grateful for the enormous support from PlayStation® fans worldwide, and we are truly humbled that gamers around the globe have continued to select PS4 as the best place to play,” Andrew House, President and Global CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc., said in the press release.

“We remain steadfast in our commitment to deliver unique and interactive entertainment experiences powered by the network and the PS4 system’s deep social capabilities.”

Uncharted 4 (PS4)
Uncharted 4 is one of the big exclusives coming to PS4 in 2015.

By comparison, the PlayStation 3 reached 21.3 million units shipped on December 31, 2008. That was almost two years and two months after that console’s launch.

While many point to the PlayStation 4’s price, graphics, and exclusive games as a reason for its success, another factor is the 123 countries that it is available for sale. The Xbox One lags far behind, by being available in only 42 countries. That disparity in market availability, combined with Microsoft’s struggle to sell its console in Europe outside of the United Kingdom has resulted in a sales lead of approximately 10 million just over a year from both console’s launches.

Microsoft has not reported official Xbox One worldwide sales numbers recently. In January, the company announced that the Xbox One and Xbox 360 combined to ship 6.6 million units to retailers. That led to guesstimates that the console had shipped approximately 10 to 11 million units at the time. The number actually sold through to consumers is still very much a closely held secret.

The Xbox One is very much competitive with the PlayStation 4 in North America. Microsoft’s console led sales during the hot holiday sales period, according to NPD, before losing the lead in February. This led to the console’s temporary $50 holiday discount to be revived with an undetermined end date.

This console generation is still very young and both consoles are selling either well (Xbox One) or excellently (PS4). Sony is at the cusp of a preference cascade worldwide, however, if it continues to move consoles at this pace.

[Images via PlayStation]