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Sony sells 5.3 million PlayStation 4 consoles

Bloomberg

Sony Corp. has sold more than 5.3 million PlayStation 4s globally, beating its forecast, as it prepares to release the console in Japan this Saturday.

The sales were for the period through Feb. 8, the company said in a statement Tuesday. Sony, which released the console in the U.S. on Nov. 15, had projected it would sell 5 million consoles by the end of March.

Demand for the console is a bright spot for Chief Executive Officer Kazuo Hirai, who this month forecast a surprise net loss of ¥110 billion as Sony’s television operation heads toward a 10th straight annual loss. The PS4, the company’s first new console in seven years, retook the lead in U.S. retail sales from Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox One last month after being priced $100 below the competing console.

“The PS4 system’s momentum just keeps growing,” Andrew House, chief executive of Sony’s game operation, said in the statement. “I am thrilled that so many customers around the globe have continued to select PS4 as the best place to play.”

Hirai, a former head of the games unit, named that business along with mobile devices and imaging products as pillars to Sony’s revival when he took the top position in 2012.

In addition to the loss, Sony this month said it would sell its unprofitable personal computer business and cut about 5,000 jobs.

The PS4 hit U.S. shelves Nov. 15, a week before the $499 Xbox One began sales.

PS4 sales in the U.S. were almost double those of its nearest next-generation competitor, Sony said earlier this month, citing NPD Group Inc.

Combined sales of the PS4 and its predecessor, the PlayStation 3, surpassed all other platforms in January, Sony said.

The PS4 and Xbox One compete with Nintendo Co.’s Wii U, on the market for more than a year.

Nintendo sold 2.4 million Wii U units globally in the nine months that ended in December, the firm said earlier this month.