Early reports and rumours seemed to have the PS4 pegged as the early pre-order leader, but the Xbox One has launched in Australia and EB Games is calling it the 'biggest launch in Australian gaming history'.
No numbers have been released thus far but, according to Debra McGrath, EB Games National Brand, Event and Engagement Manager, the growth in the games industry ensured that last night's midnight launches were the biggest ever.
"What we’re seeing here is absolutely unprecedented," she said. "When you’ve got literally thousands of people showing up to hundreds of stores across the country, you know that the gaming industry is a bigger deal than it has ever been before."
In addition to its seven official launches throughout the country, EB Games opened 317 stores for midnight launches in Australia. Reports state that Australia had more pre-orders per store than in any other country under the GameStop banner.
"We’re proud to announce that this was officially the biggest launch in Australian gaming history," said Shane Stockwell, Merchandising Director at EB Games. "The overall vibe across the industry is one of absolute excitement. EB Games has been operating in Australia for over 15 years, and we have never seen anything remotely like this before – it’s an extremely good time to be a gamer."
I think it makes a lot of sense. The market for gaming has grown. It's been an extremely long time between generations and — perhaps more importantly — these next-gen consoles are far more affordable than they've been in the past. In Australia the PS3 launched at $999.95. Dear God. Remember that?
It'll be interesting to see how the PlayStation 4 launch plays out in comparison. Early consumer research stated that Australians were two times more likely to buy a PlayStation 4 compared to the Xbox One, and rumours suggested the pre-order numbers reflected that research. Will the Xbox One's reign as the "biggest launch in Australian Gaming history" last longer than a week? Only time will tell.