Sony Has No Clue Why The PS4 Sold So Well

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Steve Anderson
The Video Store Guy
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Sony Has No Clue Why The PS4 Sold So Well

There's an old saying that, while failure is an excellent teacher, success has few lessons. While this isn't exactly the case—success often has lessons to teach for those who want to repeat it—sometimes the lessons of success are just a lot harder to find, and that's unexpectedly being learned by Sony's Shuhei Yoshida, who's feeling a “bit nervous” about Sony's recent success, and what kind of lessons this success has to teach.

Yoshida, in an interview with Eurogamer, found himself concerned that he couldn't quite get a handle on why the PlayStation 4 was selling as well as it was. PS4's results, Yoshida noted, had “...defied the conventional thinking.” As he elaborated, “Lots of people thought the dedicated game hardware might not be needed going forward, but still lots of people are very excited.” Indeed, somewhere around 10 million people are very excited, with the console having sold 10 million units. Indeed, this generation seems to be trending stronger than the previous, and that's proving unexpected for Sony. Worse, that's proving worrisome; Sony is concerned that it may ultimately exhaust its core customers.

Thankfully, the market research suggests that that may not be a problem; Sony appears to be getting customers who didn't own a PS3, including some that didn't own a Wii or an Xbox 360 either. That's an exciting development; the PS4 is hitting such chords with the market that even gamers who hadn't previously played are getting in on the action. Indeed, Microsoft dropped the ball for much of the early going for the Xbox One, and that likely showed in the newest sales results. Microsoft gained quite a bit of its following back, but only via extensive backpedaling which gave Sony a real opportunity to shine. Plus, Sony didn't have the big issues that Microsoft did with constant message splitting. While Microsoft learned in time for E3 that game consoles were about the games—and that television and such was regarded as a bonus alone—it learned this lesson well after Sony did, and Sony was on the receiving end of a victory.

So it doesn't look to be bad news for Sony here; it's not likely to reach the end of its console market any time soon, and the big sales may well carry on for some time to come. Of course, given that it's almost been a year now since the consoles emerged, sales are inevitably going to slow. But with an early-mover advantage, better pricing since the outset—until Microsoft started in with the Kinect-free version and the assorted bundles—it's a reasonable explanation of why Sony's doing as well as it is, and why this time around, it may well have control of the console wars.