Sony Doesn’t Get How It Sold 10 Million PlayStation 4s
Sony’s PlayStation 4 is perhaps the biggest console success story in recent memory, selling a total of 10 million units to the point that retailers can’t keep them on store shelves. That’s great news for Sony except for one minor detail: no one is entirely sure why it sold so many, or who’s buying them.
“It’s just beyond our imagination. We are so happy,” Sony’s Shuhei Yoshida told Eurogamer. “But I for one am a bit nervous because we do not completely understand what’s happening. You need to understand why your products are selling well so you can plan for the future, right? It defied the conventional thinking.”
It’s an interesting question because, according to marketing data, many PS4s were purchased by customers who never owned a PS3, assuming they owned a console at all. While the PS4s marketing was certainly successful, 10 million sales was an astronomical figure for the amount of effort put in. This could be a happy accident, but if Sony hopes to maintain this trend, it needs to understand what it did right.
“As soon as we see a great sales number, our instinct tells us we should be concerned about future sales, right?” Yoshida continued. “Are we exhausting all the core gamers? If we sell this number of units, there are no more consumers we can sell to. That’s a really terrifying prospect. So we want to understand who are these consumers who we do not necessarily consider core gamers, who are purchasing PS4 and why they are doing it and what they are doing with PS4, so we can create a bit more of a positive future, rather than saying, wow, we have sold to every single core gamer.”
The Xbox One had shipped 5 million units as of April, but Microsoft hasn’t updated its official sales data since. The Wii U, meanwhile, has sole 6.68 million units as of June 2014.