Sony announced sales targets for its upcoming PlayStation 4 for the first time today, saying that it plans to sell five million units by the end of the year. The fiscal year. That means it will have to sell just over a million consoles a month between its November 15th North American launch and March 31st, 2014. The company made the announcement this morning at its Tokyo Game Show keynote address.
In comparison, it took Microsoft a full calendar year to ship its first five million Xbox 360s back in 2006, and Sony’s PlayStation 3 hit 4.28 million sales worldwide at the end of Q1 2007, seven months after its release in November of 2006. Unlike its predecessor, however, the PlayStation 4 won't be immediately available in Japan in November; instead, fans in Sony's home country will have to wait until February 22nd.
It’s now been seven years since the PlayStation 3 was first launched, and even though competitors have been seeing weak sales, it isn’t unreasonable to assume the pent-up demand for next-gen gaming could pull a million PS4s a month into stores around the world. From that point of view, Sony’s announcement could be taken a different way: it expects to be able to produce five million units between now and the end of March.