No one would hold a grudge against Sony if it decided to bust out the bubbly today in celebration of selling more than 5.3 million PlayStation 4
consoles around the world. That figure, which includes sales up through February 8, 2014, not only puts Sony firmly ahead of Microsoft, it also tops the company's full-year target a month ahead of schedule, and a week ahead of the PS4's launch in Japan.
Sony previously set a goal of selling 5 million PS4 consoles by the end of March, and that was taking into account sales in Japan. However, the PS4 won't launch in Japan until this weekend, yet sales still managed to blow by Sony's target by 300,000 units, and counting.
"I am thrilled that so many customers around the globe have continued to select PS4 as the best place to play throughout and beyond the holiday season," said Andrew House, President and Group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. "We are delighted that according to the NPD Group's latest data, PS4 was January's top-selling console in the United States. The PS4 system's momentum just keeps growing stronger, and we are extremely grateful for the continued passion and support of PlayStation fans. February 22 sees the launch of PS4 in Japan, and I'm looking forward to Japanese fans sharing the excitement of the deep social capabilities and entertainment experiences only possible on PS4."
As for Microsoft, the last known sales figure is 3.9 million Xbox One
consoles up through January 23, 2014. It's not clear how many consoles the Redmond outfit has sold between then and February 8 -- a gap of a little over two weeks -- though NPD Group's latest research reveals that the PS4 outsold the Xbox One
by a 2-to-1 margin in the month of January. It's worth pointing out that the Xbox One, which comes bundled with a Kinect motion controller, costs $499, which is $100 more than the PS4.
Nintendo is still in pole position with 5.86 million Wii U
consoles to date, though that figure is a bit misleading since the Wii U has been on the market for over a year. At the current pace, the Wii U will be in third place within another month or so.