Monday, January 16, 2012

Sony PlayStation devices hit 6.5 million unit sales over holidays

(Credit: Sony)
Sony had a strong showing during the busy holiday shopping season, the company announced last night.

Between November 21 and January 5 in Japan and Asia, and November 21 and December 31 in North America, the company sold 6.5 million PlayStation hardware units worldwide. That figure takes into account sales of the PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation Portable, and PlayStation 2.

PlayStation 3 sales were especially strong, hitting 3.9 million units worldwide during the shopping season. Sony also announced that it sold 500,000 units of its new portable, the PlayStation Vita, across Japan and Asia. And although that device is replacing Sony's PSP, the company said that the last-generation portable was still able to reach 1.6 million unit sales during the shopping season.

Although Sony didn't break out PlayStation 2 sales, some simple math reveals that the company likely sold about 500,000 units of the console. That's especially impressive, considering Sony launched the PlayStation 2 over 11 years ago. Its longevity is rare in the gaming world.

But for now, Sony's focus is on the PlayStation 3. And on that front, the company seems especially bullish, saying that its strong holiday sales have helped keep it on pace to hit its annual sales target of 15 million units. To put that figure into perspective, Sony sold 14.3 million PlayStation 3 units during its previous fiscal year, and 13 million units the 12-month period before that.

That said, Sony isn't necessarily out of the woods. The PlayStation 3 is still being outsold by the Xbox 360 each month in the U.S., and there is little chance of that changing anytime soon. Plus, with Nintendo launching the Wii U later this year, there's a strong possibility Sony could find its console sales start to slump as consumers shift their spending to the Wii U.

But luckily for Sony, as it showed yesterday at its CES press conference, the company is about more than just video games. However, it did take some time to reconfirm one important detail to gamers: its PlayStation Vita will be launching in the States on February 22.

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