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Microsoft XBox One sales surpass 1 million in first 24 hours

Xbox characters dressed as zombies parade through Times

Xbox characters dressed as zombies parade through Times Square in advance of the midnight launch of Microsoft's Xbox One video game console in New York. (Nov. 21, 2013) Credit: AP

Microsoft Corp. said it sold more than 1 million Xbox One video-game consoles in less than a day after the new machine went on sale in 13 countries.

The tally surpassed first-day sales for the predecessor Xbox 360 and set a record for Microsoft, the Redmond, Wash.-based company said yesterday in a statement. The Xbox One went on sale in Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, the U.K. and U.S. after the company cut eight countries from the initial sales list, citing production issues.

Sony Corp. said on Nov. 17 that it sold more than 1 million PlayStation 4 consoles in North America in the first day of release, topping initial sales for the predecessor PlayStation 3 in 2006. The PS4 goes on sale Nov. 29 in 30 countries in Europe and Latin America, followed by Japan on Feb. 22.

The two companies are competing for the attention of gamers and trying to revive a console market that shrank 32 percent to $13.3 billion from 2008 to 2012, according to market researcher NPD Group. Both are offering machines with upgraded graphics and more entertainment tie-ins. The Xbox One sells for $499, while the PlayStation 4 is offered for $399.

Microsoft, which has been pitching the Xbox One’s motion-sensing Kinect camera as a controller for all forms of living room entertainment, has focused its message on applications and exclusive content, including the games “Ryse: Son of Rome” and “Dead Rising 3,” and an upcoming live-action TV show from Steven Spielberg.

Waiting List

GameStop Corp., the largest specialty retailer of video games, said this week that 2.3 million customers are on its waiting list for new players from Sony and Microsoft.

After replenishing initial inventories, Sony and Microsoft each are expected to sell about 3 million consoles worldwide by the end of the year, according to projections by Michael Olson, an analyst at Piper Jaffray Cos. in Minneapolis.

U.S. sales of both physical and digitally delivered games grew 17 percent in the three months ended in September, NPD reported Nov. 21, driving the industry’s biggest gain since the second quarter of 2011.

“We expect that the launches of Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony PS4 will continue to fuel consumer excitement and spending for games heading into the holiday season,” NPD said in a statement. 

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