Almost exactly two years ago, Sony's eighth generation video game console, the PlayStation 4, was launched amid huge anticipation. Its predecessor, the PlayStation 3, had sold over 80 million units during the seven years since its release, and in that time had played host to well-loved exclusive titles like Shadow of the Colossus, The Last of Us, and the Uncharted games. Needless to say, the PS4 had some big shoes to fill.
Since the PS4 released at almost exactly the same time as Microsoft's newest console, the Xbox One, much of the marketing and buzz surrounding it was tied up with a fever pitch of competition between these two video gaming giants and their die-hard fans. In the months that followed, sales data for the PS4 and Xbox One was watched closely to see which one was pulling ahead. Eventually this scrutiny died down a little, but it's likely to be renewed once more as the PS4 has passed a significant milestone.
This week Sony revealed that over 30.2 million PlayStation 4 units have been sold worldwide, as of November 22nd. Sony describes this as a continuation of "the fastest and strongest growth in PlayStation hardware history. The PS4 allows users to play games either on disc or via digital download, and also includes other entertainment options for streaming music, film and TV content through apps like Netflix.
Exclusives released for the PS4 so far include launch title inFAMOUS: Second Son, monster-hunting action game Bloodborne, and more recently, Supermassive Games' survival horror adventure Until Dawn, which featured the familiar faces of Hayden Panettiere (Heroes), Brett Dalton (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) and Rami Malek (Mr Robot). Thanks to the legacy of the PS3 and the range of new games available - including multiplayer sci-fi RPG Destiny, which had plenty of PS4 exclusives - the console has enjoyed a very successful first two years.
The PS4 also seems to be outpacing its closest competitor, the Xbox One, by a significant margin. Microsoft elected not to disclose the number of units sold in its most recent quarterly financial report, but VentureBeat estimates that the number sits at around the 15 million mark - approximately half the number of PS4 units sold.
Of course, as we head into the holiday season there will no doubt be quite a few video game consoles sitting under Christmas trees, so expect these numbers to look a little different by January. Let us know in the comments if you're one of the 30 million people who bought a PS4, and what you think of the console so far.