New York - More than a million PlayStation 4 consoles were sold in the first 24 hours of its release in North America, according to manufacturer Sony.The Japanese electronics giant announced the figures in a statement Sunday as it seeks to gain ground on Microsoft, which is releasing its Xbox One console this week."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 chief of Sony Computer Entertainment."Sales remain very strong in North America, and we expect continued enthusiasm as we launch the PlayStation 4 in Europe and Latin America on 29 November. We are extremely grateful for the passion of PlayStation fans and thank them for their continued support." The PS4 is one of the three major consoles moving into the next generation. Nintendo launched its Wii U in late 2012, and Microsoft's new Xbox is set for release 22 November in 13 countries.A forecast by the research firm Gartner shows game console sales of hardware and software are likely to grow to $44bn worldwide in 2013 from $37bn last year, helped in part by the new consoles.