A new report suggests that, just as it did a generation before, PlayStation is running circles around Xbox shortly after a console launch. Specifically, the PlayStation 5 has allegedly sold over twice as many units as the Xbox Series X/S consoles. This would seem to be a bad sign for Xbox, but given the emptiness of store shelves, we shouldn’t be too hasty to declare anyone the winner of the console race just yet.
The report comes from the research firm Ampere Analysis and claims that 2.83 million PlayStation 5s were sold to customers in the first quarter of 2021, while the Xbox Series X/S has sold 1.31 units. Note that neither number dovetails with those given by the companies themselves. Microsoft hasn’t given out the Xbox sales figures in years, so we have no way of knowing if that’s even close to accurate for the Series X/S. Sony, meanwhile, announced last month that it’d shipped 3.3 million PS5s since the beginning of the year. Assuming both numbers are true, that could mean there are several hundred thousand PS5s stored somewhere that haven’t made it into the hands of gamers.
Of course, the problem with gauging the sales of either of these consoles is that both of them have been in very short supply ever since their launch. With the global pandemic causing supply chain issues for both manufacturers, the consoles have both been sold out more than they’ve been on sale in the six months since their release. So this might not be the most accurate read on the supply and demand.
It does beg the question (for me, anyway): If Sony sold 2.8 million PlayStation 5s… who bought them? I have friends on waiting lists who still haven’t gotten one despite being on the lookout since before the consoles launched.