The much anticipated Sony PlayStation 4 went on sale at midnight early Friday morning and New Jersey gamers were in line waiting to be the first to get their hands on the brand new system.

Andrew House, President and Group CEO Sony Computer Entertainment Inc., holds up a Playstation 4 (Eric Thayer/Getty Images)

It's the first of two big events for video gamers; Microsoft introduces the Xbox One late Monday night. It's the first new versions of the games in at least seven years.

As Sony and Microsoft once again spar this holiday season over who has the brawnier machine and more enticing online features, hardcore gamers are all but certain to fall for the shiny, powerful new consoles. But what's less clear is how the gadgets will compete for the attention of people who now look to their tablets, smartphones and other devices for entertainment.

"It's turning out that these consoles, in fighting each other for the love of the hardcore gamer, run the risk of failing to capture people in their homes," says James McQuivey, an analyst with Forrester Research.

About 40 units were sold in 90 minutes early Friday morning at the Best Buy in Manahawkin according to the Asbury Park Press and another 40 waited in line at their Eatontown store. 

Both stores handed out tickets when the store closed at its normal time of 9 p.m. on Thursday night and reopened at 12:01 a.m. to sell the PS4's to eager fans. 

Both gaming systems are expected to be in brisk demand around the holidays. Sony expects to sell 5 million units of the PlayStation 4 by the end of its fiscal year in March. The PlayStation 3, in comparison, sold 3.5 million units in that time period seven years ago. Microsoft declined to offer a sales outlook for the Xbox One through the holidays, but demand should be comparable, says Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter. He expects 3 million Xbox Ones to be sold through December and 4.5 million through March.

The Xbox One, which includes an updated Kinect motion sensor, will cost $500, which is $100 more than the PlayStation 4. In contrast, the PlayStation 3 went on sale at $500 or $600 depending on the model in November 2006 while the Xbox 360 cost $400. Most new game software will cost $60.


Jersey Shore consumers line up for PlayStation 4  / Asbury Park Press

The Associated Press contributed to this report