Sony announced over the weekend that it sold more than 1 million PlayStation 4 video game consoles in the first 24 hours of availability in North America, a record for PlayStation. But the launch was marred by massive problems with the PlayStation Network (PSN), which was not working properly for at least the first 48 hours of the PlayStation 4's availability for many, ruining their launch-day experience.
"PlayStation 4 was designed with an unwavering commitment to gamers," Sony Computer Entertainment president and group CEO Andrew House said. "We are thrilled that consumer reaction has been so phenomenal."
Sony's announcement indicated that the 1 million figure represents actual sales to end users and not sales into the channel. The PlayStation 4 launch on Friday was greeted by long lines of fans at retail locations throughout North America, and most of those locations reported selling out of their stock quickly.
Sony had previously announced that it presold more than 1 million PlayStation 4 consoles, as well. It's unclear whether this new 1 million figure is in addition to the presales. Either way, the PlayStation 4 is off to a strong start, at least from a sales perspective: The PlayStation 3 needed two months to sell 1 million units in North American back in 2006-2007.
But there were problems during this launch, too.
The PSN downtime problems manifested themselves in a variety of ways, with users unable to update the console's system software or games, download new games, sign in to their PlayStation account, access or sign up for the PlayStation Plus subscription service, or access the console's online entertainment applications. I wrote about the many downtime issues in "Sony PlayStation 4: First Impressions and Photos" and "Sony PlayStation 4: More Impressions and Screenshots" over the weekend, but they appear to have cleared up by Sunday morning.
Some users also reported that their PlayStation 4s arrived DOA. But Sony claimed only ".4 percent" of PlayStation 4 consoles were shipped in a non-working state to customers.
"A handful of people have reported issues with their PlayStation 4 systems," a Sony statement reads. "This is within our expectations for a new product introduction, and the vast majority of PlayStation 4 feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. We are closely monitoring for additional reports, but we think these are isolated incidents and are on track for a great launch."
Sony will continue launching the PlayStation 4 around the world throughout the next few months. Next up is Europe and Latin America, where the PlayStation 4 will ship on November 29. Then Sony will bring the console to its home market of Japan in February.
Before then, however, Sony will need to contend with Microsoft: The software giant launches its next-generation console, the Xbox One, this Friday, November 22.