The unthinkable has finally happened, and now the choir of desperate PlayStation fanboys quietly weeps; on top of losing exclusivity last year, their favorite console has been stripped of the Elitist status. PlayStation 5 fought valiantly, but the Xbox offered better service and overall availability on the current market, overpowering the giant, and taking its place as the new King of the Gaming Hill. Adding insult to injury, Xbox outsold PS5 for the first time ever in Japan.
As reported by GamesRadar+, the unthinkable has finally happened, and Xbox Series S has outsold the PS5 in Japan for the first time. In terms of last week’s sales numbers for both consoles, the Xbox Series S sold a total of 6,210 units, while the PS5 sold only 2,963, which is 52% of what Xbox sold. This marks the first time in Sony’s home market that their console was outsold by their main competitor, and the aforementioned number of PS5s sold encompasses both the disc-based and all-digital models of Sony’s newest gaming hardware.
It’s also worth pointing out that this is the first time in history that an Xbox Series console outsold the PlayStation 5 in the worldwide market as well earlier this year. The numbers came through in March, stating that Microsoft’s console outperformed PlayStation in sales throughout the entire month. It’s really hard to know the actual sales numbers for both consoles, though, since Sony publicly shares its sales numbers, but Microsoft doesn’t — those dealing with market research have to rely on other sources for the sales figures.
But let’s look at the bigger picture and all the strategies that enabled Xbox to finally put an end to PlayStation’s reign. Xbox has been trying, for years, to overthrow Sony’s PlayStation console, though unsuccessfully. The PS2 may have established Sony as the dominant console manufacturer, but the PS3 was the console that really solidified that position. The same happened in the next generation of consoles, with PlayStation 4 and Xbox One X/S, prompting Microsoft to pull out the big guns — a better subscription service.
Over the course of the generation, Microsoft heavily invested in their subscription service, offering same-day releases for a featured price and tons of other games included in the monthly subscription, which had a more accessible price point compared to PlayStation’s. Then the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S came out, and for a brief period, Sony’s rule continued — until the pandemic struck, causing an abruption in the global chip supply chain. Of course, it affected every industry and branch that relies on semiconductors.
Both Microsoft and Sony suffered major setbacks and were unable to meet the market’s demand. So, Sony decided to keep its prominence on the market by keeping the production of PS4 going, filling the gap left by the shortage of PS5s. Microsoft, on the other hand, had a brighter idea: the company discontinued Xbox One production and shifted its focus on the production of Xbox Series S over Series X, as the smaller console requires 50% less semiconductive materials than Microsoft’s flagship product.
The end result was that Microsoft now has more consoles, albeit marginally less powerful ones, available on the market, paired with a better overall subscription model, and Sony tried restructuring their subscription, but it failed before it even launched. So, it was only a matter of time before Xbox outsold PlayStation. With everything said, PlayStation and Xbox’s cumulative sales can’t match half the number of Nintendo Switch consoles sold.