With all the focus put on Nintendo and the overnight success of the company’s Switch console in the first half of 2017, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that Sony has quietly been having a successful year with its PlayStation division. The PlayStation 4 in particular continues to be a hot seller, with close to 60 million units sold worldwide since its launch in November 2013.
In a recent interview with TIME, Sony global game development boss Shawn Layden discussed PlayStation’s recent successes and noted that the PS4’s sales milestone officially makes it the fastest-selling PlayStation console yet, to the point where it’s even outpacing the all-time industry record holder PlayStation 2.
“As you’ll recall, last year we performed the daredevil stunt of launching three new pieces of hardware in 60 days. Probably won’t do that again,” quipped Layden, referring to the $399 PlayStation 4 Pro, the $299 slimmer baseline PlayStation 4, and the $599 PlayStation VR virtual reality headset. According to Layden, sales of all three have been booming.
Layden attributes much of this success to the continued viability of console gaming as a whole, though he was also sure to point out how much better Sony’s products have been doing as of late compared to Microsoft. “All of the rumors of the demise of the console are very much premature,” says Layden. “In fact if you’re watching [sales tracker] NPD for PS4 and Xbox One sales, you put those together and console gaming has never been as big and vibrant as it is right now. And that’s just here in the States.” The situation is even more in Sony’s favor over in European markets. “It’s been pleasing that in North America, we’ve been 2-to-1 against Xbox,” adds Sony global sales chief Jim Ryan. “But in Europe, it’s really been fortress PlayStation by at least 3-to-1 in unit sales.”
Surprisingly, Layden claims that Sony still views the Vita as a viable development platform … at least in Japan. “To be honest, the Vita just didn’t reach a critical mass in the U.S. or Western Europe,” he says. “I don’t know if it was that it was more technology people had to carry around, or more things to charge, or whether their phone or tablet were taking care of that. But once the content slowed in that pipeline, it became hard to keep the Vita as a going concern.”
For more on the current and future state of PlayStation, be sure to read TIME’s full interview with Layden.
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