Xbox One Launch Day Record: More Than A Million Units Sold
Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online
The gaming console war heats up as Microsoft’s next-generation Xbox One released to record numbers on Friday. The system, which has been touted as a one-stop entertainment hub sold more than a million units on its opening day, according to the software giant.
Microsoft says that surpasses first-day sales of the Xbox 360, the company’s previous entry into the gaming world in 2007. Record sales also means that most retailers have sold out and the Redwood, Washington-based company said it will be working hard to bring more systems to the masses soon.
“We are humbled and grateful for the excitement of Xbox fans around the world,” Yusuf Mehdi, Corporate Vice President of Marketing and Strategy for Xbox, said in a blog. “Seeing thousands of excited fans lined up to get their Xbox One and their love for gaming was truly a special moment for everyone on the Xbox team. We are working hard to create more Xbox One consoles and look forward to fulfilling holiday gift wishes this season.”
RedOrbit previously reported that Microsoft was likely looking to become the “Big Man on Campus” with its latest entertainment system. Unlike Sony’s PlayStation 4, which was being touted for its video gaming prowess, Microsoft has emphasized that its system will be the epicenter of entertainment.
While Sony saw record sales of its PlayStation 4 just a week earlier, also reporting first-day sales of more than a million units, Microsoft’s equally impressive numbers only means that it outpaced its rival in total revenue. PS4 launched with a price tag of $399; Microsoft’s Xbox One goes for $499. Based on those numbers, the Xbox One likely raked in $100 million or more over its competitor.
And it is likely revenue will continue to rise for Microsoft as GameStop has reported that a survey of its rewards program members indicates that two-thirds of the respondents said they plan to buy an Xbox One or PS4 within the next year.
However, there is some concern that some people may have not been bit by the console gaming bug. Many in the younger generation have grown up on mobile devices and may never even begin playing and/or watching on the console. This is evident as PC sales have been declining as well due to a growing mobile reliance.
“We’ve lost some gamers into other things,” Paul Raines, chief executive of GameStop, said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal.
Mobile games account for some of that decline, he noted. But he added that using social media and streaming videos online has just as much of an impact.
However, both Microsoft and Sony have reason to celebrate. A combined two million+ units sold in a week is enough to suggest that the once lagging video game market may now be on a once-again upward trend.
Market research group PricewaterhouseCoopers said it expects console game sales to rise 4.2 percent globally this year. The firm also projects another 6.4 percent jump in 2014. While this is still far lower than the 28 percent growth the industry saw in 2007 when the last line of next-gen consoles were released, it is an encouraging sign for the top console makers.
As far as the Xbox One is concerned, there are a number of reasons to be upbeat.
The inclusions in Xbox One make it very similar to its predecessor, the Xbox 360, but it takes everything that that system offered and catapults into a new generation of entertainment. Not only were 22 games available on launch day, including “Dead Rising 3” and Forza Motorsport 5,” but the next-gen console also features live TV, web-browsing, chatting with Skype, movies and music and more. And also, Xbox One comes pre-equipped with the Kinect 2.0 sensor, which will allow users to control their system with their hands as well as with a newly added feature: voice commands.
Liz High, an analyst for analytics firm SDL PLC, said features such as these could be a big help to Microsoft in the coming years. She told WSJ that social media conversations and consumer purchasing habits suggest that Microsoft’s approach of marketing to a wider audience will most likely be more effective with future consumers.
Perhaps the most surprising numbers were not that of record sales for Xbox One, but for the massive line of achievements that consumers experienced in the first 24 hours of gameplay.
The Xbox One blog said that during the first 24 hours, gamers killed more than 60 million zombies in “Dead Rising 3;” drove over 3.6 million miles in “Forza Motorsport 5;” defeated more than 8.5 million enemies in “Ryse: Son of Rome;” and earned more than 43.3 million Fit Points in Xbox Fitness.