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PS4 sales top 1 million in 24 hours

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Sony has a hit on its hands.

In its first 24 hours of availability, the PlayStation 4 sold more than 1 million units in North America. That's nearly five times the number of PlayStation 3 units the company sold in that system's first two weeks on shelves.

"PS4 was designed with an unwavering commitment to gamers, and we are thrilled that consumer reaction has been so phenomenal," said Andrew House, President and Group CEO, Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc. "Sales remain very strong in North America, and we expect continued enthusiasm as we launch the PlayStation 4 in Europe and Latin America on November 29. We are extremely grateful for the passion of PlayStation fans and thank them for their continued support."

The fast adoption by consumers makes the PS4 Sony's fastest selling console, even topping the initial numbers of the PlayStation 2 in Japan.

[ Related: Upcoming PS4 games to watch ]

It's a far cry from the early days of the PS3. It took more than a month-and-a-half for the company to ship 1 million units to its retail partners in 2006. And sales of the system in its first two weeks came in at just 197,000 units, according to The NPD Group, far short of the company's goal of 400,000

Parts shortages at the time were the chief reason for the PS3's early sales shortages, though the system's high price tag was also cited.

Sony will have a chance to further increase the PS4's sales totals in two weeks, when the system hits the U.K. and Europe on November 29. Demand is just as strong in that region, with Amazon telling U.K. customers that any orders at this point will arrive after Christmas.

Japan will get the system next February.

Sony has been very optimistic about the sales prospects for the PS4. Last week, SCEA president Jack Tretton predicted the company would sell 3 million PS4s by the end of the year. By the end of next March, Sony expects sales to top 5 million.

The launch isn't entirely smooth, though. Sony began investigating reports of hardware failure even before the PS4 hit shelves - and while the company says fewer than 1 percent of the units were affected, customer reviews on Amazon.com are full of complaints for people saying their system has died. Nearly 500 of the 1,600 customer reviews rank the system at one star.

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