NEW YORK (
(SNE) declared its brand new PlayStation 4 is a big hit so far. The next-generation gaming console reportedly sold more than 1 million units in the first twenty-four hours after its New York launch last Friday.
Sony shares were advancing nearly 2.5% to $18.96 in early New York trading.
Andrew House, President and Group CEO of Sony's Computer Entertainment division says "Sales remain very strong in North America, and we expect continued enthusiasm as we launch the PlayStation 4 in Europe and Latin America on November 29. We are extremely grateful for the passion of PlayStation fans and thank them for their continued support."
The PlayStation 4 is now Sony's quickest selling game console even beating the record set by Japanese fans when the PlayStation 2 was first released in March, 2000. Sony has said that it hopes to sell at least five millions PS4s worldwide before the end of its fiscal year in March.
Sony began rolling-out its new console in two markets - the United States and Canada. The unit, which has a suggested retail price of $399.99, features an eight-core, 64-bit Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) processor, a newly designed Radeon graphics chip, 8 GB of memory and the upgraded "Dual Shock 4" controller.
Initial reviews of the PS4 have largely been very positive, but a number of early adopters have reported problems. Amazon.com (AMZN) lists the PS4 as its "#1 Best Seller" but a check of the user reviews at the bottom of the listing shows a large number of one-star ratings in addition to many five-star results. Most complaints center around reports of consoles being "dead" right out of the box or within a few hours of switching them on for the first time.
The problem has been nicknamed the "Blue Light of Death" (mocking the infamous "Blue Screen of Death" on Microsoft Windows) because that power indicator is the only feature which seems to work on affected consoles. Sony says only a handful of problems have actually been reported but it will continue to investigate.
The PS4's largest competition will be Microsoft (MSFT) Xbox One, due in stores on Friday. The Xbox One will retail for $499.99. Although that's $100 more than Sony is charging for its new gaming console, Microsoft is including the Kinect motion-sensing/camera device as part of the package. Sony charges an extra $60 for a PlayStation 4 camera.
Speculation surrounding the new Microsoft CEO has investors and industry watchers concerned that the Xbox unit may be sold to another company in an effort to cut costs, in an effort to return more capital to shareholders.
Written by Gary Krakow in New York.
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