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Last Friday, the 15th November, the highly anticipated PS4 finally arrived on US shores. Lucky fan Joey Chiu of Brooklyn, New York, was the first to be able to purchase the new console, which was sold to him by Sony executives Andy House and Jack Tretton.
Fans who’d braved the cold to line up at stores around America began Tweeting photos of their experience. @FullSail Tweeted ‘How many of you are doing this right now?’ alongside a picture of a large queue outside a Gamestop. @jmsab9 Tweeted ‘It’s here. #GreatnessAwaits #PS4’ as soon as he got his. Another user, even thanked his mother for waiting in line with him.
In fact, thanks to social media excited new PS4 owners were spreading their joy all over the internet. Unboxing videos found their way to Youtube within hours of launch, and Facebook and Twitter were full of photos and messages from fans. Microsoft’s Phil Spencer even took the time to congratulate Sony on their release.
Not all social media response was positive, though. In what can only be called an incredibly expensive episode of trolling, two young men were filmed walking out of a store with a brand new machine, only to take a baseball bat and smash it to bits in the car park, to the dismayed groans of those still waiting in the queue. No reason has been given as far as we know as to why this was done, although it has been posited that these men were Xbox fans, looking to get a rise out of those queuing.
Social media also brought to light problems that soon became apparent with the PS4. The Mirror reported that at 5:27 am, reports were coming in that new PS4 owners finding their machines had broken HDMI ports and several crashing issues, as well as some being just broken out of the box. Sony has promised to investigate these problems, so hopefully they’ll be ironed out before the UK launch later this month.
Despite these issues though, the PS4 release has turned out to be the most successful launch ever for Sony, with more than a million sold in 24 hours. This beats their previous record with the PS2, which sold 980,000 units in Japan in 2000. Sony are also on course to beat Microsoft in sheer sales numbers, mostly due to the Xbox One’s higher price.
UK Sony fans will have to wait till November 29th to get their hands on the PS4, although some celebrities have been given pre release units recently. Illusionist Derren Brown recently tweeted that he’d received one, but was at pains to explain that he had given it to a friend, and was planning to buy his own on launch day. In the run up to launch, Sony have altered the famous OXO tower in London to display the Playstation circle, cross, triangle and square logos instead. This is the first time in the history of the tower that alterations have been made to the display.
When this post goes live, the UK will have seen the UK release of the Xbox One. Hopefully it will go more smoothly than the PS4 launch in the US, but it will be interesting to compare the two launch events after the 29th November.