Sony Expects to Sell 5 Million PlayStation 4 Consoles This Year and That Might Be Conservative

Say what you will about Sony, the company is nothing if not ambitious. Certainly that's the best way to describe the console maker's expectations of how well its upcoming PlayStation 4 system is going to sell in the next few months. While speaking at Tokyo Game Show 2013, Sony Computer Entertainment president Andrew House said that his company is aiming to sell 5 million PS4 units by the end of the company's fiscal year (March 31, 2014). It's a lofty goal, but could also turn out to be a conservative one.

The PS4 ships to the U.S. and Canada on November 15, 2013, followed by launches in Europe and Latin America two weeks later on November 29th. That gives Sony about four and a half months to reach its 5 million units sales goal, and it's worth noting that the PS4 won't launch in Japan until February 22, 2014. Looking back, Sony sold 3.55 million PS3 consoles in a similar amount of time when it launched in 2006.

PlayStation 4

House isn't the only one expecting big sales figures. GameStop chief Paul Raines said in August that between the PS4 and Xbox One, the latter of which releases to retail on November 22nd in more than a dozen territories, this holiday season is shaping up to be the "largest console launch in history." Raines didn't offer up any specific sales estimates, though he did say at the time that the PS4's "first to know" list was sitting at 1.5 million members, more than twice as many as the Xbox One at 700,000 members.

One of the reasons why House believes Sony can sell 5 million units in such a short period of time is because the appeal of the PS4 extends beyond just the core gaming crowd. Sony's goal is to also capture the casual market, in part by focusing on party games.