After months and months of bad news about sagging game and hardware sales, good news has finally hit the video game industry.
In what has to be a spark for the Research Triangle’s video game industry, gamers have shown record-setting interest in the new next-generation game consoles from both Microsoft and Sony.
Microsoft on Friday said it sold more than 1 million Xbox One video-game consoles in less than a day after the new machine went on sale in 13 countries.
The company says that surpasses first-day sales of the Xbox 360, the previous-generation model that went on sale eight years ago.
The new console was launched in 13 markets.
The software giant said Friday that it sold had out at most retailers and that it is working to replenish stocks. It added that in the first day of game play, fans killed over 60 million zombies in “Dead Rising 3” and drove more than 3.6 million miles on “Forza Motorsport 5.”
The sales figure matches that of Sony, which said last week that more than 1 million PlayStation 4 consoles had been sold in the 24 hours since its release.
Sony PlayStation 4 console sales topped initial sales for the predecessor PlayStation 3 in 2006. The PS4 goes on sale Nov. 29 in 30 countries in Europe and Latin America, followed by Japan on Feb. 22.
The two companies are competing for the attention of gamers and trying to revive a console market that shrank 32 percent to $13.3 billion from 2008 to 2012, according to market researcher NPD Group. Both are offering machines with upgraded graphics and more entertainment tie-ins.
The Xbox One sells for $499, while the PlayStation 4 is offered for $399.
Microsoft, which has been pitching the Xbox One’s motion- sensing Kinect camera as a controller for all forms of living room entertainment, has focused its message on applications and exclusive content, including the games “Ryse: Son of Rome” and “Dead Rising 3,” and an upcoming live-action TV show from Steven Spielberg.
GameStop, the largest specialty retailer of video games, added to the run of good news. It said this week that 2.3 million customers are on its waiting list for new players from Sony and Microsoft.
After replenishing initial inventories, Sony and Microsoft each are expected to sell about 3 million consoles worldwide by the end of the year, according to projections by Michael Olson, an analyst at Piper Jaffray Cos. in Minneapolis.
U.S. sales of both physical and digitally delivered games grew 17 percent in the three months ended in September, NPD reported Nov. 21, driving the industry’s biggest gain since the second quarter of 2011.
“We expect that the launches of Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony PS4 will continue to fuel consumer excitement and spending for games heading into the holiday season,” NPD said in a statement.