Late last night Sony announced that it sold 7 million PS4 consoles, and shared a bit more about the features users can expect in the next software update for the console.
Sony formally announced the updated sales figures for its next-generation gaming console in a post on its PlayStation Blog. According to that post, the console didn’t just reach that sales milestone but actually surpassed it as of April 6th.
The post didn’t actually go into much more detail than that. It did highlight that these are worldwide sales, so we don’t yet know how this will compare to sales of Microsoft’s Xbox One console. For starters, the Xbox One isn’t available in as many countries as the PS4. That’s something Microsoft plans to rectify this coming September when it launches the console in 25 more markets including Japan.
Typically, Microsoft waits until the announcement of United States sales numbers compiled by NPD Group before publicly sharing any information about the Xbox One’s sales. NPD Group is expected to announce its sales numbers soon, presumably Microsoft will share more about the Xbox One’s sales in the United States immediately after NPD’s announcement. It isn’t likely to share worldwide sales of the Xbox One.
The PS4’s high sales numbers are absolutely great for gamers on both platforms but particularly Sony’s. Sony has always maintained that it solicited feedback from gamers and developers when planning the PS4, and it made a spectacle out of promoting small independently developed titles at last year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo. The PS4’s sales so far vindicate Sony’s efforts to make its console ideal for hard-core gamers, even if that’s a niche that it may not be able to rest console sales on forever.
One big decision the company made early on was to not include the PS Camera with every PS4. Doing so would have meant that all users would have had a way to interact with Sony’s console besides their controller on day one. Not including the camera may have left casual gamers out in the cold, but there’s no doubt its helped boost sales for the console itself. Without including it, Sony was able to get the cost of the PS4 down to $399. That’s a full $100 dollars less than Microsoft’s Xbox One. That relatively low base price price tag had to factor into users buying decision.
Sony is hoping to keep the sales momentum high with different system updates that add even more functionality to the console. Detailed in another post on the PlayStation Blog, Update 1.70 will introduce some crucial changes to the way users share video’s they’ve recorded inside games and from the PS Camera accessory. The biggest of these changes is SHAREfactory, an on-board video editor that’ll allows PS4 users to add effects, transitions, notes and audio into their PS4 game clips. Users will even be able to add commentary with picture-in-picture recording through SHAREfactory. After editing that video PS4 users will be able to save their game clips to an external flash drive. Users will be able to share videos of different lengths as well.
Both of these additions are key to the PS4′s future. According to Sony, the PS4 Camera has remained sold out because users are rushing to share video game clips with custom commentary online. Anything that makes this experience easier is cause for celebration. Xbox One users can’t output videos they record to a flash drive, however they can upload them to SkyDrive and then share them anywhere. The Xbox One also launched with Upload Studio, a downloadable app that also allows them to edit, cut, style and add commentary to their videos. The YouTube on Xbox app does allow Xbox One users to upload recorded videos directly to the video sharing and viewing service.
One choice feature PS4 users can expect that Xbox One owners don’t have is video game pre-loading. Starting with this update PS4 owners will be able to download digital versions of games before they’re available. That in itself is worth downloading the update alone. Sony is poised to remove a key roadblock for digital games.
On the Xbox One, users who prefer to download their games digitally are forced to wait until around 3 AM EST before a game is available to play. There’s no digital pre-order system on the Xbox One either, as such, users can’t simply head to a website and pre-order the game and have it downloaded to their console by the time they get home. Digitally pre-ordered games will actually auto-download on a user’s PS4 console days ahead of it’s launch so that it’s playable at midnight like disc-based games.
Unfortunately, Sony didn’t share much information about when users should expect the Update 1.7 for the PS4. Its post did confirm that this major update will contain other enhancements beyond what it shared in today’s post. Whether those too are strictly gaming related remains a mystery.