Begun the sales wars have. Earlier this week Microsoft announced it had sold an impressive 3 million units before the end of 2013. Now Sony is waving its big number around — and it is a big one — 4.2 million PlayStation 4s sold before the end of last year.
It's impressive. From Australia the story has undoubtedly been 'high demand/low supply'. In this region at least, Microsoft has been far, far more efficient at putting consoles in the hands of consumers, meaning that the Xbox One has shifted more units here despite there being more pre-orders for the PlayStation 4. In other regions the story is similar, but it seems as though Sony has still managed to outsell Microsoft in many key markets.
That said, the PlayStation 4 proposition arguably appeals more to early adopters than Xbox One's, which is targeted at a more mainstream audience. It's next to impossible at this stage to predict who will sell more over the lifespan of the consoles but I suspect it will be very, very tight.
The good news, for us at least, is that both the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 have been massive successes at launch despite neither product really having any killer apps. Speaking anecdotally, many of my own friends are waiting for the games. I suspect 2014 will be a very big year for consoles in terms of units sold and games released.