The week of May 9 to 15, 2022 saw a first in the console hardware sales race: Microsoft’s Xbox Series console sales surpassed those of Sony’s PlayStation 5 for the first time. Since their releases, both the PS5 and Xbox Series X and S have maintained 2nd and 3rd place, respectively, in Japanese hardware sales charts. [Thanks, Famitsu.]
According to Famitsu‘s weekly sales figures, the combined Xbox Series console sales numbered 6,225 units sold. This outstrips the 2,693 PS5 units moved in the same period. The figures cover the combined sales of both variants of each console, the Series X and Series S for Xbox, and the Disc and Digital editions of the PS5. Nintendo maintained its commanding lead, with buyers picking up 65,322 Switches across the original, OLED, and Lite versions. The PS4 moved a mere 22 units.
Nintendo also virtually locked out the software sales charts in Japan, with the top ten best-selling games of the week all belonging to the Switch. In the lead was Nintendo Switch Sports, followed by Kirby and the Forgotten Land in 2nd place. The only games not also on Switch to chart in the top 30 spots for the week were Elden Ring and Gran Turismo 7, both on PS4.
The Xbox Series sales figures also provide a more detailed picture of Microsoft’s milestone. Of the 6,225 units sold last week, 98% (6,120) were of the Xbox Series S model. There are significant hardware differences between the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. The Xbox Series S has a less powerful GPU, less RAM, and about half the built-in storage of the X model. These differences generally bear out in graphical features (like ray-tracing) and resolution capabilities such as achieving 4k resolution, as well as performance in certain titles. The S model is also considerably cheaper and smaller, potentially appealing to Japanese customers with limited space for hardware. By comparison, the PS5’s Disc and Digital editions are identical, save for the presence of a Blu-ray disc drive. In any case, regardless of their sales ranking, the Xbox Series consoles are doing much better in Japan than the Xbox One. Some credit the improved performance to Microsoft’s popular Xbox Game Pass service, which grants access to many first-party exclusive titles as well as cloud-based game streaming to mobile devices and PCs.
As for the reason behind last week’s milestone, supply constraints on Sony’s side may play more of a role than a surge in performance for Xbox Series sales. After the PS5 passed 19.7 million units sold, Sony warned that despite a higher sales forecast for the coming fiscal year, it expected supply shortages to continue into 2023. Hardware shipments are also down across the board compared to the previous week. For example, over the week of April 25 to May 8, 2022, Microsoft moved 14,118 Xbox Series consoles. Sony moved 49,798 PS5s, and Nintendo sold 76,592 Switches.
The PS5, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox Series consoles are sold worldwide, where supplies are available.