Those Damn Game Consoles Just Refuse to Fail

Oh tech press, how you loved to shit all over the Playstation 4 and Xbox One over the past 3 years. Here’s an excerpt from M.G. Siedler’s impressions in November 2013:

Color me officially bearish about the latest generation of video game consoles. All the reviewers seem to want to love the PS4, but just don’t.

I’m sure these all will sell well out of the gate thanks to the holiday shopping season, but the real indicators will be early next year when the hype is gone and these things have to stand on their own merit. 

M.G. was right about them selling tier better out of the gate: Sony nearly tripled sales upon launch compared to the PlayStation 3 in it’s first 45 days on the market. They sold 4.2 million PS4s in that time compared to 1.6 million PS3s. But this is what he expected, the real question is how they would do in the future: would they sell well or would they fizzle out?

The following holiday season (2014) saw Sony sell 4.1 million PS4s. This brought their total unit sales to 18.5 million in 13 months. Surely that was it, right?!

This holiday season’s sales were just announced and they showed Sony sell 5.7 million new PS4s to customers, bringing the new cumulative total to 35.9 million. Not bad.

Now these numbers pale in comparison to smartphone numbers, but if the suggestion in 2013 was that dedicated home gaming consoles were dying, then you would expect these numbers to be lower than how game consoles were selling last decade. Well you probably saw this coming, but it took the PS3 a total of 41 months to reach that same mark that the PS4 just reached in 26 months.

I know this post is a bit of an “I told you so” article, but I can’t help myself. I stand by my position that the vast majority of tech pundits have no idea how the video game market works. Yes, it’s technology, but it’s an entertainment medium, and as proven by the maddening discussion of the Steve Jobs movie proved, the tech press does not get entertainment.