Wed, Jan 07, 2015 - Page 15 News List

PlayStation 4 sales strong

AFP, LAS VEGAS

Sony Corp on Monday said sales of its PlayStation 4 video game consoles have topped 18.5 million.

Slightly more than 4 million PS4 units were bought during the year-end holiday season, Sony chief executive officer Kazuo Hirai said during a press conference at the Consumer Electronics Show gadget extravaganza taking place in Las Vegas this week.

“I’m liking those numbers,” Hirai said. “This is a remarkable success for those consoles.”

Game sales for PS4 consoles have remained strong, with more than 81.8 million copies sold as of Monday, according to the Japanese company.

Nearly 11 million people subscribe to the PlayStation Plus online network that delivers films, television shows, music and other digital content to consoles, Sony said.

The release of the PS4 in the US and other markets has helped improve Sony’s fortunes after a disappointing response to the console’s predecessor, the PS3.

Nintendo Co Ltd’s Wii U, launched in late 2012, took more than a year to sell just fewer than six million units.

The PS4 is locked in a battle for dominance of the digital home entertainment market with Microsoft Corp’s Xbox One and the Wii U at a time when consoles are under intense pressure to prove their worth in a world where many now play downloadable games on smartphones and tablets.

The PS4 outsold the Xbox One consistently after both consoles launched in November 2013, but Microsoft resorted to cutting the price of the Xbox One and bundling games to boost sales during the recently ended holiday season.

Meanwhile, Hirai called the devastating hack on the company “vicious and malicious,” in his first public comments about the cyberattack that derailed the launch of controversial comedy The Interview.

He also thanked supporters who stood by the company in the face of the massive cyberassault, including employees and moviegoers who saw the film when it finally hit theaters.

“Freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of association — those are the important lifelines of Sony and our entertainment business,” Hirai said.

Sony employees, he added, “were victims of one of the most vicious and malicious cyberattacks we have known, certainly in recent history.”

The Interview is now showing at independent theaters in the US, as well as online platforms, Hirai said.

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