PlayStation and Xbox own the majority of the gaming console market, and have been trying to outsell each other for more than two decades, by offering better performing consoles, better subscriptions, and better gaming titles? But who’s precisely the market leader when it comes to console gaming, and are there any new players on the block? Luckily, the numbers for PS5 and Xbox Series X are up, and we know who is winning.
According to GamesRadar+, Sony’s PS5 outsold Xbox Series X by more than double in Q1 2021, sourcing their information from Ampere Analysis, who originally compiled, and compared the sales data. As stated in the report, PlayStation 5 systems (both versions) outsold Microsoft’s Xbox Series X/S two-to-one from January through March this year. Both versions of PlayStation’s PS5 sold over 2.83 million units to consumers, compared to Xbox Series X/S 1.31 million units, within a specified time frame. Admittedly, these numbers would’ve been higher if not for the global semiconductor shortage, making it harder to obtain a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X gaming consoles.
In the face of the semiconductor shortage crisis, Sony announced hardware updates for its PS5 console, which will feature a “semi-customized” 6nm CPU from AMD. At the same time, Microsoft took specific steps to accelerate research and development for semiconductor manufacturers. The CPU shortage had severe impacts on the manufacturing and supply of both consoles, though Sony managed to beat the Q1 sales of PS4 with the new generation, despite the shortage. However, the company failed to meet the demand, making it incredibly difficult to anticipate and forecast any future numbers.
So, it’s official: PlayStation 5 outsold Xbox Series X/S two-to-one. But the new kid on the block, the Nintendo Switch, outsold the PS5 by two-to-one and is currently en route to become the most popular handheld console of all time. According to the Ampere Analysis, the console will keep outselling Sony’s and Microsoft’s respective consoles during 2021, since it’s currently at the peak of its sales cycle, with no foreseeable decline for this year or the next one.
Regarding the PS5, this is the first time in over two decades that Nintendo’s consoles outsold Sony’s gaming systems since Sony became the market leader in 2001. For those unfamiliar with gaming consoles history, Nintendo was the biggest kid on the playground since its Nintendo Entertainment System, abbreviated NES, became wildly popular in 1984, one year after its release. And while it wasn’t Nintendo’s first gaming system, it was the company’s first gaming console released outside Japan – securing Nintendo’s market rule for the next fifteen-plus years.
The challenger was born in 2000 when Sony launched the PlayStation 2 gaming console, whose sales dethroned Nintendo, making Sony the market leader for years to come. PlayStation 2 remains the best-selling console since 2000, selling over 155 million units. Microsoft’s competing console, the original Xbox, was released in 2001 and sold only 24 million units, which is significantly lower than the competition. Twenty years later, Sony holds over 65% of the overall gaming console market share, with no clear end to its reign, especially given the fantastic sale numbers of PS5.