Eric Johnson

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Xbox One Matches PS4’s First-Day Console Sales … And Reports of Defects

Vjeran Pavic /

Stop me if you’ve heard this one: Starting Thursday night, a major tech company sold more than one million units of its next-gen gaming console, and since then has had to contend with scattered user reports of hardware defects.

It was true of Sony last week with the PlayStation 4, and now it’s true of Microsoft this week with its rival Xbox One.

In an email, a Microsoft spokesperson called the one-million-plus debut the “biggest launch in Xbox history.”

It’s worth pointing out, though, that the PS4 debuted in just two countries last week — the United States and Canada — while the Xbox One launched simultaneously in 13 markets: Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, the U.K. and the U.S. The sales announcement did not break down which countries drove the most sales.

As for those defects: While Sony had to contend with reports of both connectivity issues and console overheating, Microsoft (at least so far) has just one hardware glitch on its plate. Within hours of the Xbox One’s debut, videos surfaced on YouTube of the console “eating discs,” clicking and refusing to recognize game discs inserted in its optical drive.

Both companies, of course, have pledged prompt support to customers via their normal customer service avenues, and anecdotal reports appearing online suggest Sony is promptly returning and exchanging defective PS4s. In an email yesterday, a Microsoft spokesperson said customer service reps could be reached over the phone, on the Xbox forums or via social media.

I asked the spokesperson if Microsoft knew how many Xbox One owners were affected by the disc-eating problem, but she said the company does not have an exact number. She emailed a corporate statement asserting that “the issue is affecting a very small number of Xbox One customers.”

As of Sunday, Sony estimates that “less than 1 percent” of its new consoles are faulty.

And while we’re here, a little weekend entertainment at my expense. As I was looking into this yesterday, I was initially fooled by this video post on Reddit claiming the PS4 was also eating discs. I won’t spoil it, but suffice it to say that’s not what happens:

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