When you ask gamers whether or not they’ve bought a PS4 or an Xbox One, the answer is almost inevitably “Not yet, still have a lot of games for my old console.” But, as we noted, somebody is buying them: Sony crossed 10 million units sold in less than a year, which is a shocking number and marks the fastest selling PlayStation console in the brand’s history. Oddly, though, there’s a mystery… which is that Sony has no idea who in the heck is even buying it in the first place.
It comes up in an extensive, and fascinating, interview with Shuhei Yoshida at Eurogamer that gets into why the Vita wasn’t at Gamescom, how Until Dawn wound up on the PS4, and, of course, those PS4 sales. To which Yoshida essentially says “I dunno.”:
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. …I’m asking marketing people to tell us why. They’ve been to people who already purchased, and some of the early data was amazing in terms of the number of people who didn’t used to own PS3 have already purchased PS4. So we are getting lots of new customers coming into PlayStation. And some people never purchased any last-gen hardware: PS3, or Xbox 360 or Nintendo Wii. So where did they come from?
As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, my theory is that Sony has stumbled onto a strange market where the streaming video apps and Blu-Ray playback features are more important to customers than playing game hardware. The PS3 has long been beloved by home theater nerds as the best Blu-Ray player you can pick up for the money, just for example. But it’s still a bit strange that not even Sony knows who’s buying this thing and why they’re buying it, and it seems to be something they need to figure out quickly.