Sony Doesn't Understand Just Who The Heck Is Buying All Those PS4s

Sony Doesn't Understand Just Who The Heck Is Buying All Those PS4s

Sony has sold 10 million PlayStation 4s. They don't know why. It just kinda happened. Sales appearing from the ether — that sort of thing.

Here's Sony's Shuhei Yoshida speaking in an extensive Eurogamer interview (emphasis mine):

The 10m sell through in the first nine months is well beyond what we had hoped for. As you know, we have struggled to keep up with demand of PS4 for so many months. It was hard to find and purchase PS4. Now we are able to supply units so in every territory I believe you can find PS4. So we just managed to catch up with demand.

It's just beyond our imagination. We are so happy. But I for one am a bit nervous because we do not completely understand what's happening. You need to understand why your products are selling well so you can plan for the future, right? It defied the conventional thinking. Lots of people thought the dedicated game hardware might not be needed going forward, but still lots of people are very excited. When you see the new games coming out and being announced this E3 and Gamescom, I think there's a good enough reason for a gamer to believe this is something worth investing in.

It's a fascinating concern. Yoshida goes on to add that their marketing data shows a high percentage of current PS4 buyers didn't actually own PS3s — or, really, any last-gen hardware. This would imply that those people weren't big console gamers until the fourth PlayStation came out last November.

So where the heck did all of these new PlayStation fans come from?

As soon as we see a great sales number, our instinct tells us we should be concerned about future sales, right? Are we exhausting all the core gamers? If we sell this number of units, there are no more consumers we can sell to. That's a really terrifying prospect. So we want to understand who are these consumers who we do not necessarily consider core gamers, who are purchasing PS4 and why they are doing it and what they are doing with PS4, so we can create a bit more of a positive future, rather than saying, wow, we have sold to every single core gamer. So that's what we are doing.

Help Sony out, folks. If you bought a PS4, tell us who you are. Are you a PC gamer who converted to the console faith? Are you a longtime PlayStation fan? Did you skip a console generation or two? Are you a brand new gamer? Were you summoned to this earth for the purpose of bolstering Sony's sales, a mythical PlayStation fairy conjured up to participate in bloody console warfare? Let us know.

(Check out the full Eurogamer interview for more from Yoshida.)


    Buy pretty much any TV in New Zealand at the moment you get one free, wonder if these are included as 'sold'

      They are, it's how they pumped up their install base on the PS3 also. I got one, and onsold it as I wasn't keen on paying to play online twice.

        The PS3 didn't have any online play fees.

          Onsold my PS4 that came with my 4k Bravia. My PS3 is connected to the HDMI in on my Xbox One.

        But if you onsold it, it equates to the same thing.

          I knew people who found PS3's a couple of years old in their parents cupboards, because they claimed them from the original bravia deal but never bothered plugging them in or using them for anything. Had two or three mates eventually get free PS3's from their parents that way, but they most definitely weren't being used at all in the meantime.

          I think the PS3 bravia deal was a much bigger giveaway than the PS4, and not sure if they had to pay shipping which you did with the PS4.

      That might actually push me over the edge... been thinking about getting a new TV for a while. Anyone doing this in Oz?

      Ok so that accounts for 3 extra systems sold, what about the rest? lel

        Dude Trademe (like ebay for NZ) is littered with them, people winning them and not wanting them.

    Have always been mainly a PC based gamer but I did buy a PS3 on launch day, when the PS4 has something that interests me I will probably get one.

    When this has been covered previously with record setting preorders & sales etc the reason speculated the most was underestimating the hunger for a new generation after the protracted length of the PS36Wii generation. A theory I tend to agree with.

    It's the PLAYERS! For the players! XD

    Platform agnostic that doesn't want to miss out on any experience because I don't have the hardware that it's built for. True I sold my wiiu already, but if Ninty bring out an actual hd full 3d Pokemon RPG, I'll rebuy. Not into handhelds or mobile gaming. Pc and console for me.

    Got a PS3 free with a television purchase many years ago and ran with it. I wasn't actually going to buy a PS4 until the game library was better but a combination of gift cards and cash over Christmas basically covered the price of the console.

    I have my PC and my Xbox One. there's honestly nothing enticing me to want a PS4. most titles are cross platform. those that are PS exclusive honestly haven't interested me yet.

    PS3 was the first console I bought (previously as a kid used to play my brother's SNES though). Looking at moving into PC gaming, although I did buy a PS4 because I still love to be able to kick back on the couch with a controller.

    "Yoshida goes on to add that their marketing data shows a high percentage of current PS4 buyers didn’t actually own PS3s — or, really, any last-gen hardware. This would imply that those people weren’t big console gamers until the fourth PlayStation came out last November."

    Maybe because the PS4 is being bought in record numbers to gift to someone (I.e. Partner, child etc.). A parent can purchase a Wii for their child and not consider themselves the owner of the product since it has been gifted. Repeat this for PS4 and the buyer still did not "own" a last gen console according to the survey.

    Last edited 20/08/14 8:50 am

      How the hell would they know if someone owned a PS3 before they bought the PS4. I mean , they dont ask you and record it when you buy.

      My guess is they check the credit card/email data for PS4 users to see if it was used on a PS3 previously , However I know plenty of people who have never gone online for Ps3.

    I bought a ps4 and it was a huge mistake, I didn't research sufficiently and it turned out it was actually worse at what I wanted it to do than the ps3.
    I'm hoping some media support and and at least ps3 level DVD playback makes its way to the ps4 but with the abysmal wifi, it still won't function well as a media centre.
    Which sucks because it doesn't have much in the way of games either

    I like to entertain the thought that criminals are buying them in bulk, stripping them down and using the parts in some kind of advanced money counterfeiting scheme and making 10x return on their investment.

    I have no proof, but it's a fun thought anyway

      That's a cute idea but why not just buy the PC processors alone without paying for everything else that comes in the box? (eg cables, controller, hard disk, console plastic bits)

      In the past, the PS3 was used by a variety of organisations for military, medical and other reasons for its processing power. Anything involving the military counts as nefarious, right?

    Well ~4000 Aussies just bought a PS4 in the recent Dick Smith sales, so we're doing our part!

      I was going to say this. The price of of the PS4 (and the XBox One/Wii U for that matter) during sales has been pretty bloody good.

    "We don't really understand it.... We have no games on it."

    Got a PS4 at launch, got a PS3 at launch and had both a PSX and PS2 near launch. I always get Sony consoles for the brilliant games like GT and MGS. Make no mistake though, I am a hardcore PC gamer and get everything I can on PC unless the port is really borked (Like AC) so to answer Yoshida Sans question. Yes I am a core gamer that always gets Sony (and every other except Xbone) console as long as it has heaps of great exclusives.

    If I look at my friends, they too are also core gamers and all have PS4's (and PS3's) so I wonder who all these non-gamers buying PS4s are?

    I love playstation. I have had every version console wise and not handheld.

    I know I'm getting one for Christmas and pretty excited to get it with the new COD, MKX, Hardline and Evolve and finally get to play Killzone 4. But I myself am surprised on the numbers as the PS4 hasn't had a big library of games unless you count the indie stuff which I'm not a fan of.

    Went from Sega Master system to PSX-PS2-PS3-PS4 all launch consoles except the 4 which my town didn't have enough of.

    I got one of those promotional xbox 360s last gen but it didn't appeal to me so sold it. The wife's Wii Was fun for a while with smash bros but now it's in the cupboard some where.

    I skipped PS3 generation. At launch the PS3 was too expensive so I stuck with PS2 as long as possible. Then I was at the age where I would spend all my spare time and money drinking/partying etc. By the time I started saving some $$ and having time to play games I figured i'd just stick with PC for that generation. My laptop wasnt anything special but it could still run skyrim.
    I got PS4 at launch and love it

    Think the Wii U is so bad, they all bought a PS4 :P

    Got fed up waiting for the new generation and moved to primarily PC gaming about 18 months before the next gen was announced. Picked up a PS4 on launch day, and it will likely end up being purely for Infamous, Uncharted, Destiny and Bloodborne.

    Because Microsoft drove everyone away with their flip flopping and controversial policies. And PS4 currently beats it in terms of video output. Simple.

    Bought one over the weekend, as a result of the Dick Smith ebay sale. Still don't really know why, I guess I'm too far down this video games rabbit hole to escape, so why not embrace the madness?

    This marks the first time ever I've owned all the current gen consoles.

    I read all the main Kotaku site comments and all I seemed to really see were what must have been middle to upper class just buying for no real reason. My favourite was: "I bought one for my lounge room and one for my bedroom. Thinking of buying one for my holiday house now."

    It was MEEEEEEEEE.

    (Dick Smith's sale on Sunday, though.)

    I guess I feel like a sort of collector so I almost always get at least one console on launch day per generation. I don't look and judge before I've actually experienced anything, I'm willing to pay money to find out. So when I looked at the PS4 and XBOX One, I kinda went with whatever felt most comfortable and that was the PS4.

    For one, I have had recurring account troubles with Microsoft over the years that always seems to happen whenever something is changed on their end, forcing me to contact support and not have internet access for a few days/weeks. It's a pain for someone who works a lot to spend so much time fixing games rather than playing them. The last time this happened was a year or two ago and that was when I decided not to use my XBOX 360 any more. I've always preferred Live to PSN but with my constant account hassles and the emergence of the ADVERTISING EVERYWHERE philosophy, I decided I hated looking at my 360 menu and went with Playstation for the sheer fact that they didn't treat me with as much contempt. Some, but not as much.

    I could have easily have bought an XBOX One by now and was actually considering it until all the exclusive started being announced for PC... which I have, giving me almost no reason to buy on. Totally enjoying the PS4 though; feels nice, sleek, simple and efficient. Maybe it's just that little things matter.

    I've had every Playstation console so buying a PS4 at launch felt natural. Been hugely disappointed in the first year though. Game releases have been bland with nothing but tired franchises and ports, and the fact almost a year later the PS3 is still a better console in terms of multimedia features.

    I still use my PS3 more than my PS4, but Gamescom has got me excited about the PS4 again. Now it's just the waiting game.

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