The whole net is abuzz today with the news that Sony has already sold 2.1 million PlayStation 4
consoles. This figure is on top of the over 1 million units sold on the first day. With North America's launch on the 15th, Europe's launch on the 29th and the Black Friday weekend, they are now launched in 32 countries worldwide. Keep in mind that it took Sony four months to sell 1.1 million PS3's back in 2006, so their velocity is far greater and at that can most likely be attributed to their $399.99, €399.99, £349.99 pricing compared to Microsoft's more expensive $499, €499, £429 pricing scheme.
However, Sony's roll-out strategy is also much more strategic than Microsoft's and is essentially a planned rolling launch across the globe. Microsoft launched the Xbox One in most of the countries that they will be offering the console on the same day, November 22nd. This is clearly the fairest option for most people and will likely make most developing nations feel less excluded, but it also results in fewer consoles being available at launch as we saw happen.
With Sony's launch, the company is not only launching in North America, Europe, Japan, Australia and Brazil, they are launching in far more countries. The PlayStation 4 launched on the 15th in North America, then they launched in Europe, Australia and Brazil on the 29th. Following that, they will be launching in Saudi Arabia and the UAE on the 13th, Hong Kong on the 17th, Taiwan on the 18th, Singapore on the 19th and Malaysia on the 20th. This opens the PlayStation 4 to markets that aren't officially supported by Microsoft's Xbox Live with the Xbox One and probably won't be supported by the company. Microsoft will not support Xbox Live on the Xbox One in Taiwan, UAE, Saudi Arabia or Hong Kong. They have a comprehensive list of countries with Xbox Live supported
and only countries with an asterisk are supported on the Xbox One. Following that roll out, Sony plans to continue forward with launches in the rest of Asia in the rest of December, including India and South Korea.
Even though neither Microsoft nor Sony have officially announced any sort of Chinese launch due to governmental restrictions, I suspect that Sony will sell a lot of PS4 consoles to Chinese people buying them in Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan. As a result, I believe that by the end of 2013, Sony will come out to be the sales winner of the console wars. Even though we have purchased both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, I do not believe enough games have come out yet to decide which console is the better buy.
Also, I suspect that because of Sony's and Microsoft's rapid sales, the ultimate winner in the console wars will be AMD. Surely, the company will see tens of millions in profits as a result of these console sales. Their CFO stated that their operating margins on these consoles were in the mid-teens, which should mean that if the $100 per console rumor is correct, AMD is seeing about $15-20 per console in operating margin. If Microsoft and Sony end up selling 10 million units before the year is over, AMD could stand to post their biggest quarterly operating income in years. They already posted an operating income of $95 million last quarter as consoles just started to ramp.
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