PS4 Pre-Orders "Much, Much Higher" Than Past PS Platforms
Sony intends to ship at least 5 million PlayStation 4 units by the end of the company's fiscal year (March 31, 2014).
Is that an unrealistic milestone? Sony doesn't think so; in fact, they're pretty confident about the prediction, as there have been plenty of pre-orders and there's "strong support" from third-party developers. During a recent earnings call, Sony CFO Masaru Kato made a case for the 5 million estimation:
"When we listen to consumers, when we listen to our retail partners and third-parties, one measure of our confidence is in the preorders that we have received from consumers. I can't give a number. But compared to past platforms, the pre-orders that we have received for this new platform is much, much higher."
At one point, Sony described the number of pre-orders for the PS4 as "breathtakingly high," and Kato adds that most pre-orders have come with money. In other words, if you pre-ordered, you probably didn't just put your name on the list; you likely started paying it off, because you have every intention of purchasing the machine. And there's no denying the importance of third-party support:
"The second would be that we have strong support from third-parties. And sometimes, when we launch a new platform, the software catalog is not sufficient, or after the launch, sometimes, you don't have good titles following the launch. But this year, on a comparative basis, I think we have a much more stronger lineup of software coming. So those are the things that we are looking at. But I cannot give you a number as to how much upside there is."
The PS4's launch lineup consists of 22 titles, although I think most fans would've liked to have seen more exclusive offerings. And the delay of Watch Dogs and Driveclub didn't help. Still, there are several heavy hitters on that list, including Killzone: Shadow Fall, Call of Duty: Ghosts, Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, Battlefield 4, Knack, and several big sports titles.
Just bear in mind that Sony's 5 million prediction involves sell-in units; i.e., the number of consoles sold to retailers and not necessarily to consumers. And it seems to be a reasonable goal for March 31.
11/1/2013 11:29:41 AM Ben Dutka