Sony held a press briefing in the UK the other day to announce the release of the PS Vita Slim — a cheaper version of the company’s ailing handheld. But it also had some words about the much more successful PS4, and some of the statistics one executive pulled out help illustrate how that new console is doing.
Sony UK boss Fergal Gara announced that PS+ subscriptions tripled after the release of the PS4, according to IGN. This isn’t a huge surprise — PS+ was much more optional with the PS3, which allowed for online multiplayer without the subscription fee, unlike the PS4. So something that mostly gave gamers a few free games every month became something closer to a necessity for using a console to its full potential, and we see the sort of numbers that Gara is talking about.
There was some grumbling when Sony announced that PS+ would be required for multiplayer, but it would seem that the vast majority of PS4 owners are making the transition. It didn’t hurt that the subscription came bundled with arguably the PS4′s best launch title: Resogun. It’s an easy way for Sony to keep a revenue stream after initial console sales, and the instant game collection makes sure that there’s enough value there even for people who aren’t huge online gamers.
Gara also announced that the PS4 was outselling the Xbox One at a rate of about 1.5 to 1 in the UK, an important reversal in what has traditionally been a stronger market for Xbox. The PS3 performed better in Europe than the Xbox 360 over the course of last generation, but these early sales numbers have suggested that the traditional Microsoft strongholds might see some much stiffer competition as well.
While both the Xbox One and the PS4 are racking up impressive sales numbers, the PS4 has some key advantages that are giving it an early edge. The most important of those is price: Sony’s machine is $100 cheaper, and the Xbox One still hasn’t totally demonstrated why it deserves the extra price. Early multi-platform games have also suggested that the PS4 has a power advantage, something that early adopters are likely to care about.