(Corrects PS3 sales figure to 3.6 million from 5.5 million in paragraph 2)
TOKYO, Sept 19 (Reuters) - Sony Corp aims to sell 5 million PlayStation 4 game consoles in less than five months from a launch that will coincide with the release of rival Microsoft Corp’s Xbox One.
It sold 3.6 million of the predecessor PS3 from its November 2006 launch to the March 31, 2007, financial year end.
Sony, for whom the PS4 is central to restoring profitability at its hardware operations, will start selling the console on Nov. 15 in the United States. The Xbox One will go on sale a week later.
PS4 sales in Japan will begin on Feb. 22, giving Japan sales just over a month to contribute to Sony’s end-March target, disclosed by game unit chief Andrew House in a presentation at the Tokyo Game Show on Thursday. Preorders totalled 1 million as of August.
Sony, like Microsoft, has extended its latest console beyond gaming by making it a living room entertainment hub controlling movie, television and internet content.
Microsoft’s Phil Spencer, in charge of Xbox content, on Wednesday told Reuters the Xbox business would soon unveil television projects, following on from an agreement to produce a television series of its popular Halo game in collaboration with Steven Spielberg. (Reporting by Tim Kelly; Writing by Edmund Klamann; Editing by Christopher Cushing)