The PlayStation 4 era represents a landmark chapter in Sony’s console gaming history.
As one of the most successful consoles ever, with over 117 million units sold worldwide, the PS4 expanded the PlayStation brand and user base. But when did the PlayStation 4 come out? Let’s revisit the original launch of the iconic gaming console.
PS4 Release Date
The PlayStation 4 was released on November 15, 2013, in North America and November 29, 2013 in Europe. This marked the first eighth-generation console on the market, arriving a full year before its closest competitor, Xbox One.
Sony strategically built buzz and demand by getting the PS4 out in time for the busy 2013 holiday shopping season. The early release paid off, with 1 million units sold within the first 24 hours across North America and Latin America.
This initial release date only applied to the standard edition PS4. Special models and hardware revisions rolled out over the console’s seven-year lifespan. But November 15/29, 2013, stands as the original launch that kicked off the incredibly successful PS4 generation.
PS4 Launch Games
System launches are defined by their rollout of launch games. Early adopters anticipate not just the console itself but the new games optimized to demonstrate its capabilities. Here are the major PS4 launch titles that landed alongside the system in November 2013:
- Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
- Battlefield 4
- Call of Duty: Ghosts
- FIFA 14
- Just Dance 2014
- Killzone: Shadow Fall
- Lego Marvel Super Heroes
- Madden NFL 25
- NBA 2K14
- NBA Live 14
- Need for Speed: Rivals
- Skylanders: Swap Force
Most cross-platform games like Call of Duty: Ghosts arrived on both PS4 and Xbox One. But Sony also secured timed exclusive content in these titles along with full exclusives like Killzone: Shadow Fall and Knack.
There was a healthy mix of both first and third-party games. Franchises like FIFA, Assassin’s Creed, and Call of Duty drove adoption, while new IPs like Knack gave the PS4 catalog a fresh identity. Overall, it gave new PS4 owners plenty to dig into on day one.
PS4 Launch Bundles
The standalone PS4 cost $399.99 in the United States at launch. However, many customers opted for PS4 bundles that packaged the console with games and accessories. Early PS4 bundles included:
- PS4 + Killzone: Shadow Fall: $449.99
- PS4 + Knack + PS Camera: $459.99
- PS4 + Battlefield 4 + PS Camera: $559.99
These bundles increased the upfront cost but delivered extra value. In the case of Knack and Killzone, it provided a second launch title alongside your choice pick. The Battlefield 4 bundle included the highly anticipated PS4 camera accessory.
Of course, there were more PS4 bundles down the road. But these initial offerings captured the launch window excitement with packages featuring exclusive games and innovative new hardware like the PS Camera.
PS4 Launch Event
In the months leading up to November 2013, Sony steadily unveiled more details about the PS4 in a strategic marketing campaign. This all built up to the grand PS4 launch event on November 15, 2013.
The event took place at Terminal 5 in New York City. Sony transformed the venue with PlayStation branding and demos for eager fans to experience. Attendees got hands-on time with PS4 consoles and launch games.
Outside the venue, the Empire State Building was lit up in PlayStation blue to commemorate the occasion. The spectacle emphasized the PS4’s status as a cultural moment for gaming.
For those attending virtually, Sony live-streamed the entirety of the PS4 launch event. Viewers witnessed the excitement in New York while console pre-orders went live worldwide.
Media coverage also amplified the events and energy surrounding Sony’s flagship console. Overall, the PS4 launch captured gamers’ imaginations and established momentum right out the gate.
PS4 Sales at Launch
As mentioned earlier, the PlayStation 4 sold 1 million units globally within 24 hours of launch. This set a new record, handily beating the PlayStation 3’s launch sales.
By year’s end, the PS4 had sold 4.2 million consoles worldwide. Again, this outpaced the PS3, which sold 3.6 million units in its first two months.
These sales figures showed that Sony had recaptured the momentum and consumer enthusiasm of the beloved PlayStation 2 era. While the PS3 struggled against the Xbox 360, PS4 dominated against Microsoft.
What led to such booming sales? The PS4 launch price was $100 less than the PS3. It was released a full year before the Xbox One. And Sony effectively marketed the PS4 as a powerful but accessible system.
Reviews were also strong, with critics praising the revamped DualShock 4 controller, social integration, and horsepower for beautiful graphics. This all translated to rapid adoption by PlayStation loyalists.
Part of the PS4’s appeal was its slick, modern design. The console broke away from the PS3’s curved “George Foreman grill” aesthetic for a more mature, angular appearance.
The two-tone, split background design made the PS4 pop on store shelves. And the parallelogram shape gave it a contemporary edge over the stereotypical boxiness of past consoles.
Overall, the PS4 looked great in home entertainment setups and aged far better than the daring but divisive PS3. The thoughtful design helped usher in a more refined era for PlayStation.
Paving the Way for PS4 Pro and PS5
Sony supported the PlayStation 4 with consistent hardware revisions, system software updates, and a stellar library of games. But ultimately, the launch represented just the starting point.
The PS4 Pro enhanced performance and visuals when it was released in November 2016. This mid-cycle upgrade extended the lifecycle while making PS4 games look better on 4K TVs.
And in November 2020, Sony launched the PlayStation 5. The PS5 provided full generational change with cutting-edge SSD speeds, haptic feedback controllers, and ray tracing graphics.
That all said, you can’t overlook the importance of PS4’s foundational launch. It rebuilt the PlayStation community and brand after a shaky PS3 era. PS4 deserves credit for PS5’s mainstream appeal and record sales.
So, while future PlayStation models improved the hardware formula, they owe a lot to the PS4 pioneered. The 2013 launch brought PlayStation gaming fully into the modern era.
Reliving a Historic Moment in Gaming
When did the PlayStation 4 come out? Examining the PS4 returns us to a landmark period in console gaming. For PlayStation fans, it marked the true beginning of an incredible generation. Looking back at the precise release date, launch lineup, and initial reception offers perspective on how far PlayStation has come.
Almost ten years later, PS4 represents a gaming legacy. Its broad popularity and outstanding catalog make it a nostalgic and influential release. Revisiting the details of its launch recaptures the excitement that kicked off an era. For all its past and future accomplishments, PlayStation 4’s origins still represent a special moment in time.
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