By Malathi Nayak
SAN FRANCISCO Dec 11 Microsoft Corp
has sold more than 2 million Xbox One video game consoles since
its Nov. 22 launch, catching up with rival Sony Corp's
PlayStation 4 released a week earlier.
The U.S. software giant on Wednesday said it took 18 days
for Xbox One's global sales to surpass 2 million - a new company
record. Japan's Sony last week said it took 15 days for PS4
sales to cross 2.1 million.
The Xbox One, on sale in 13 countries, is selling quicker
than its predecessor, the Xbox 360, and is sold out at most
retailers, said Microsoft Xbox spokesman David Dennis.
"We're manufacturing as fast as we can" to replenish
supplies at stores during the holiday season, Dennis said.
The Xbox One, priced $499 in the United States, and PS4,
priced $399, offer improved graphics for increased realism and
faster processors permitting smoother play, as well as numerous
"Being even is a win for Sony," Benchmark Co analyst Mike
Sony's pitch that its PS4 is a gamer-centric device has
successfully attracted game enthusiasts and "that will show in
market share moving forward," Hickey said.
Microsoft hopes the new Xbox will become the entertainment
hub in living rooms, not only enticing gamers but appealing to a
broader consumer base of TV fans and music lovers with its
interactive entertainment features and media applications. It
has been pitching its Kinect motion sensor camera, Xbox-only
titles like "Ryse: Son of Rome" and features that allow
hands-free control of television sets to differentiate its
Robert W. Baird & Co analyst Colin Sebastian in October said
he expected global shipments of 2.5 million to 3 million
consoles for both the Xbox One and PS4 in October-December. Both
consoles sold over 1 million units in their first 24 hours after
going on sale.
Investors are keeping a close eye on sales of the two
next-generation consoles, which arrived after a gap of eight
years. Analysts say they could reignite the video game market,
which struggled with flagging sales for over a year until this
fall when it began seeing a gradual uptick in revenue.
Strong launches of both consoles were a good sign for the
industry but it was too soon to forecast where the market was
going to shift, said Benchmark's Hickey.
Despite robust initial demand, "it remains to be seen how
much mainstream consumer demand will unfold," Baird & Co's
Sebastian said in a recent research note.
Microsoft shares were down 1.3 percent at $37.60 in
afternoon trading on Nasdaq.