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PlayStation 4 Sales Surpass First Year Targets

Stocks in this article: SNE MSFT

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Sony (SNE) has surpassed its own sales estimates for its three month-old PlayStation 4 gaming console.

The company had hoped to move five million units by the end of March. As of Feb. 8, Sony has actually sold 5.3 million units exceeding its first year estimates.

Sony stock is advancing on the news. Shares are up 1.41% to $17.30 in early New York trading.

The PS4's chief competition is Microsoft's (MSFT) Xbox One and, to a lesser extent, Nintendo's Wii U. Manufactured by Foxconn, Sony recently announced the PlayStation 4 was the best-selling console in the United States in January. Rival Microsoft says its Xbox One outsold the PS4 in December and also sold more games in January.

The PlayStation 4 was formally announced one year ago and released for sale in North America on Nov. 15, 2013 and in Europe and Australia two weeks later.

Next week, Sony will launch the PS4 in its home market of Japan. The company is planning a huge event at its Tokyo headquarters on Feb. 22 to kick off the celebration. Microsoft has yet to announce an exact launch date for the Xbox One in Japan, saying only the console will arrive there sometime in 2014.

Late last week Microsoft released the first of two software updates for the Xbox One. As the battle continues to heat up, Microsoft's studio manager Mike Ybarra has announced the company is offering lower prices for some of its digital Xbox One game titles.

Nintendo's Wii U console hasn't fared as well as the competition. Last month, company President Satoru Iwata, cited lower-than-expected sales during the 2013 holidays. He announced Wii U sales forecasts for fiscal 2014 were being scaled back from 9 million to only 2.8 million units.

Written by Gary Krakow in New York.

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