Xbox Finally Sold More Consoles Than PlayStation

Xbox Series S/X sales beat PlayStation 5 sales in Japan for a week in May, continuing signs of supply problems affecting Sony's console.
Xbox japan
Xbox consoles outsold PlayStation in Japan. | © The Commonwealth Fund

While Microsoft's Xbox and Sony's PlayStation go neck-in-neck in many regions throughout the world, one part of the globe has never had much love for the console that gave us Halo and Gamertags.

That region is Asia, and specifically Japan, where the love of PlayStation, where Sony is headquartered, is sacrosanct. It is with this understanding that makes today's (May 19) new hardware sales figure coming out of Japan so astonishing as it reveals that the Xbox X/S outsold the PlayStation 5 for the seven days starting on May 9.

Though the numbers don't tell the whole truth and Xbox's win isn't because the country's gamers have suddenly ditched the PlayStation.

Xbox Outsells PlayStation In Japan

The startling figures come courtesy of the Japanese publication Famitsu. Rounding up the hardware sales across the gaming industry between May 9-15, it shows that Nintendo, who also hail from Japan, is dominating the market with the top three spots taken up by the three available models of the Switch with combined sales of approximately 64,000 units.

For the PlayStation 5, the figures are less rosy. Reportedly, Sony's latest console sold just 2,693 units with 453 of them being the Digital Edition that comes without an optical drive. Those low figures gave the previously neglected Xbox some rare good news with the Xbox Series X/S selling a combined 6,225 units - over double that of the PlayStation 5.

Of course, there is a story to these figures and that lies less with the success of Microsoft and the Xbox, and more with Sony's failure to adequately fix the supply issues that mean their console, which was originally released in October 2020, is still very hard to find on shop shelves almost two years later.

And while the Xbox Series X/S had similar issues at launch, those have been ironed out, and they are readily available to buy.

Xbox's win here in Japan will be short-lived - there is no doubt about that - you only need to look at the lifetime sales of both consoles to see where Japanese gamers' allegiances lie with just 200,000 Xbox X/S consoles sold compared to the 1.6 million PlayStation 5s. But this should be a wake-up call for Sony because if you can't get your hands on the console, you have to play your games somewhere... right?

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