Xbox One launches big worldwide

(Photo: Microsoft)

Gamers in New Zealand became the first in the world to get their hands on Microsoft's Xbox One, and worldwide appetite for the new console seems to be matching the hype.

In the U.S., Xbox One debuted at a price of $500 compared to $400 for Sony's PlayStation 4 or PS4, its fiercest rival. Xbox One seems to have history going for it, however. Its predecessor, the Xbox 360, was formerly the top-selling console in North America.

Sony said it sold over one million PS4 consoles in the 24 hours after its U.S. release on November 15. It's a tough act Xbox One is trying to beat, and the numbers from last week's launch are looking good for Microsoft.

The company's latest report shows Xbox One selling at a faster pace than Xbox 360, making it the most successful console launch in Xbox history. It noted that Xbox One "continues selling at a record-breaking pace with 258,000 units sold in the U.S. in the month of February, surpassing Xbox 360 sales by over 61 percent at the same point in time."

Nonetheless, Sony won the sales war in February, selling more units but making less money because its PS4 is priced $100 less than Xbox One. Sony didn't give out the exact numbers but did confirm PS4 was the best-selling console in the U.S. in February. It had earlier said it had sold 6 million PS4 units as of March 2.

Microsoft has never billed Xbox One as just another console. It's been promoting Xbox One console as a home entertainment hub that goes far beyond games. Xbox One's more powerful hardware permits instant switching between games, the internet and TV. Microsoft-owned Skype is integrated into the console for online group gaming and sharing video calls.

Apart from the U.S, Xbox One was launched in over a dozen countries including Australia, the UK, Brazil and France. Xbox one and PS4 are incompatible for titles designed to be played on earlier versions of both consoles, however.

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