Days from launch, Sony predicts big numbers for the PlayStation 4

The PlayStation 4 debuts on Friday, Nov. 15. How will the console fare? 

The Sony PlayStation 4.

Sony is predicting it will sell at least 3 million PlayStation 4 consoles by the end of 2013, according to Bloomberg News. 

The Japanese company was responding to a report from analyst Colin Sebastian, who predicted the new console would get off to a strong start. "We’re very comfortable with [the 3 million figure]," Jack Tretton, president and chief executive officer of Sony's American computer entertainment division, told Bloomberg this week. "I’m excited about next week to be able to talk about what was sold as opposed to what we may sell.”

Three million PS4s would be a marked improvement over the addled, herky-jerk launch of the Sony PlayStation 3. That console had originally been scheduled for spring of 2006, before being pushed back to November. The delays didn't help Sony's bottom line, and the PS3 was soundly trounced by the Xbox 360 and the Nintendo Wii in the holiday 2006 race. 

This year, things are looking much sunnier for Sony. For one, the Sony PlayStation 4 is priced at $399 – a full hundred bucks cheaper than the Microsoft Xbox One. Of course, there are plenty of Microsoft stalwarts that will stick by the Xbox no matter what. But the $100 price discrepancy should help persuade plenty of consumers who are trying to decide between the two platforms. 

"With its cheaper price point and less restrictive DRM policies, the PS4 already seems to have the Xbox One on the run," Michael Rougeau and Alex Roth of TechRadar wrote in a hands-on test of the console. "We still think it would be naive to consider Microsoft's system down for the count, though. Exclusive titles, and maybe even some backpedaling on its internet connectivity demands, could right the Xbox One's ship." 

Launch date for the PS4 is scheduled for Nov. 15 in the US; the Xbox One will follow on Nov. 22. 

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