Last week EB Games called the Xbox One launch the 'biggest launch in Australian gaming history' and now, this morning, it's calling the PlayStation 4 launch one of the biggest console launches of all time.
It'll probably be a while before the dust settles and we get a real idea of who sold precisely what but, for now, it seems like retailers are — predictably — lauding both launches as a great success.
"This was one of the biggest console launches of all time, and was twice the size of the Playstation 3 launch we saw in 2007," said Shane Stockwell, Merchandising Director at EB Games. "Demand for the Playstation 4 is unlike anything we’ve ever seen before, and we are currently taking preorders for shipments in early 2014."
Twice the size of the PlayStation 3 launch. Older readers might remember that the PS3 launch wasn't all it could be back in March 2007. Launching at $999 didn't exactly result in a barnstorming start, so it's difficult to say precisely how positive doubling those numbers really is. That said, early research stated that people were almost twice as likely to pick up a PS4 compared to the Xbox One. Again, it's difficult to be specific at this point.
According to Debra McGrath, National Brand, Engagement & Events Manager for EB, pre-orders for the PlayStation 4 have been astronomical.
"The passionate customers that showed up to our launches last night have had their PS4 preorder since before July this year – in some cases the preorders were placed so long ago that our EB World program didn’t even exist,” said McGrath. “The first preorder for the next Playstation was put down way back on the 5th of July, 2011 – this just demonstrates how much these fans love the Sony brand."
Anecdotal evidence on a store-to-store basis seemed to suggest that twice as many people had pre-ordered a PS4 compared to the Xbox One, but anecdotal evidence suggests that less people turned up to midnight launches. Kotaku US Associate Editor Luke Plunkett attended a launch in Canberra — apparently his local store had twice the pre-orders for PS4, but half the amount of people at the midnight launch compared to the Xbox One.
Again, that could mean a lot of different things.
Michael Ephraim, Managing Director at Sony Computer Entertainment Australia seemed delighted with the launch, and made reference to the fact that it will be difficult to pick up a PlayStation 4 over the next month in the lead up to Christmas.
"I've never seen demand like we are seeing now with PlayStation 4," he said. "Even though we are getting more PS4 consoles in before Christmas, our retail partners tell us that they don't expect many to be left on the shelves by the time Christmas comes. We will continue to supply the demand, starting in January and every subsequent month until we satisfy Australia's appetite for PS4. In the meantime, we thank our fans for their patience – we promise PS4 is worth the wait."
It looks like both the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 had fairly spectacular launches here in Australia.