Microsoft: A Record 1M Xbox Ones Sold in Less Than 24 Hours

As the 2013 holiday season kicks off, brisk demand helps Microsoft achieve its biggest console launch yet.

Microsoft's big bet on the future of living room tech is showing early signs of paying off.

The company announced that during the first 24 hours after the TV-friendly, voice control-enabled Xbox One launched, Microsoft managed to get more than 1 million of the devices into the hands of consumers. It's a feat that sets a new benchmark for the company's Xbox consumer product division.

In a statement, Microsoft confirmed that "the launch of Xbox One was the biggest launch in Xbox history, with more than one million consoles sold through worldwide in less than 24 hours—surpassing day one Xbox 360 sales and setting a new record for Microsoft."

Microsoft isn't the only video game system maker that's off to a strong start. After the Nov. 15 North American launch (U.S. and Canada) of the PlayStation 4, Sony announced that it had sold 1 million units of its new console, which is priced at $399.

The Xbox One, by comparison, launched in 13 territories and retails for $100 more than the PlayStation 4. Both systems sport similar AMD-based x86 Jaguar architectures. The pricing disparity is largely owed to Microsoft's decision to bundle its Kinect sensor. The PlayStation 4 camera is available as a separate add-on.

Supplies are tight, suggesting that the Xbox One may emerge as a hot ticket item during the holidays. Part boast and part advisory, Microsoft announced that the "Xbox One is now sold out at most retailers." Yusuf Mehdi, vice president of Marketing and Strategy for Xbox, assured in a statement that his company is "working hard to create more Xbox One consoles and [looks] forward to fulfilling holiday gift wishes this season."

Xbox One owners are already racking up the hours spent with the console. According to Microsoft, highlights include:

  • Over 60 million zombies have been killed in "Dead Rising 3"
  • Over 3.6 million miles driven in "Forza Motorsport 5"
  • Over 7.1 million combos in "Killer Instinct"
  • Over 8.5 million enemies defeated in "Ryse: Son of Rome"
  • Over 43.3 million Fit Points earned in "Xbox Fitness"

As with any big launch, there have been some hiccups. Shortly after some users took their consoles home, videos depicting some early product defects flooded YouTube. Recalling the "red ring of death" (RROD) hardware failures that plagued the Xbox 360 after its launch, the online videos show new Xbox One owners inserting a disc only to be met with the worrying grinding sounds emanating from the unit and an on-screen error message. The discs re-emerge seemingly undamaged, however.

Microsoft issued a statement saying that the malfunctioning drive issue affects only "a very small number" of Xbox Ones. The company is currently "working directly with those affected to get a replacement console to them as soon as possible through our advance exchange program."

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the network of...