Microsoft announced Wednesday that it had sold more than 2 million Xbox One video game and entertainment consoles in its first 18 days of availability. This sales pace—about 111,000 units per day—is a "record-setting pace for Xbox," Microsoft says. And this sales pace is roughly comparable to that of its chief competitor, the Sony PlayStation 4, which hit the 2.1 million milestone in about the same time frame. But the PlayStation 4 is available in far more markets than the Xbox One.
"We continue to be humbled and overwhelmed by the positive response from our fans. We are thrilled to see sales of Xbox One on a record-setting pace, with more than 2 million Xbox One consoles in homes around the world," Microsoft Corporate Vice President Yusuf Mehdi noted in a fairly lengthy prepared statement. "Demand is exceeding supply in our 13 launch markets, and Xbox One is sold out at most retailers."
Of course, what everyone really wants to know is which console is selling better: The PlayStation 4 or the Xbox One?
With the understanding that it's early days yet, here's the score. Sony announced in early December that it had sold 2.1 million PlayStation 4 consoles as of December 1. The console went on sale November 15 in the United States, so that figure represents 16 days of sales. Microsoft, meanwhile, announced Wednesday that it had sold 2 million Xbox One consoles in that system's first 18 days in the market. So, clearly, that's a smaller number of consoles in a slightly longer period of time.
Advantage Sony? Not quite: The PlayStation 4 is available in far more markets (32) than the Xbox One, which is available in just 13 markets. One might argue that Xbox One's performance is in fact quite a bit better, given the relative lack of exposure.
A few weeks of launch-time sales won't tell the whole story, of course, and we might need to wait years to have a full understanding of how well these consoles fare against each other in the market. For now, you can check out my "Xbox One Review" and "PlayStation 4 Review" on the SuperSite for Windows, and figure out a strategy for finding one of the consoles, if you haven't already: Both are basically sold out and difficult to acquire.