The combination of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 launches later this year might make for the biggest combined launch the gaming industry has ever seen. During a second quarter earnings conference call today, GameStop CEO Paul Raines referred to what's coming later this year as the "largest console launch in history."
GameStop president Tony Bartel provided some additional, albeit unspecific, information about the console launches. He indicated allocations from Microsoft and Sony both "are much stronger than last launch," and while he didn't cite the specific number of consoles that will be available at launch, he said they are "exceeding [GameStop's] expectations" and that GameStop "expect[s] a significant increase in launch day quantities versus the last console launch."
Later in the call, a question was asked regarding the possibility of seeing better-than-usual shipment numbers of the new consoles during their first year of availability. Bartel responded, "I think there's a lot of optimism that that will be the case. That being said, it's very early in the production cycle."
GameStop is continuing to offer a "first-to-know" list for both consoles that informs customers of when additional systems become available for pre-order. Bartel noted there are 1.5 million people on the list for PlayStation 4, while there are 700,000 on the list for Xbox One. Keep in mind these numbers don't reflect the number of people to have already successfully pre-ordered either system.
GameStop isn't the only one with evidence suggesting this year's launches will be big.Amazon pre-order records were broken back in June following E3 -- day-one pre-orders for PS4 and Xbox One were said to be "nearly two times that of all video game sales on Black Friday last year."