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In the final weeks of 2021, one console ruled them all. The incredible sales of the Xbox Series S on Black Friday made Microsoft’s all-digital machine an unlikely front-runner amongst the current-gen competition, surpassing sales for the PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch and Series X. Xbox consoles also outsold PlayStation systems at Christmas - and since then, Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard and continually impressive Game Pass subscriber performance have put the Xbox brand in a powerful position. It feels like Xbox hasn’t been this popular since the days of the 360.
However, one industry analyst has predicted that Xbox will not only sell fewer consoles in 2022 than PlayStation, but that it’ll only achieve half the number of its closest rival in the market. As reported at GameSpot, Piers Harding-Rolls of Ampere Analysis has predicted that Xbox’s Series consoles will achieve sales of nine million - but that PlayStation 5 sales will go up by 18 million.
🎮Last year the console market saw strong consumer demand met by pressure on availability of components. How will this evolve in 2022? - @PiersHR— Ampere Analysis (@AmpereAnalysis) January 20, 2022
Xbox Series: 9m.
PlayStation 5: 18m
Nintendo Switch: 21m
Watch the full video here: https://t.co/qE2HwpcTFZ pic.twitter.com/5mqbZeDkIh
Speaking in a video posted to Twitter, Harding-Rolls says: “It looks like the availability of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series consoles is going to improve slowly over (2022). Our expectation is that Sony will outsell Microsoft two to one.”
He notes that sales of both new-gen consoles - covering both models of each - has been hampered by the supply of necessary components for their manufacture. We’ve previously heard that these supply shortages could continue into 2023, which will no doubt pinch the overall sales of each. But Harding-Rolls thinks enough PS5s will roll off the production line to get 18 million more of them into homes across the world. To date, around 13.4 million PS5s have been sold, compared to an estimated 12 million Xbox Series consoles.
Check out our own review of the PlayStation 5, below
At launch, Microsoft claimed that the Series S/X was its fastest-selling console ever, eclipsing the million Xbox 360 consoles sold in 24 hours. For comparison, launch-period sales of the PS5 surpassed the PS4’s two-week total of 2.1 million globally. What figures we have imply that PlayStation achieved a substantial lead over Xbox in the first few months that the new consoles were on sale - but current estimated sales figures put the machines much closer together, with maybe less than two million sales between them. And if that’s the case, will the PS5 really do double the sales of the Xbox in 2022? If both are available in equal numbers, will the PS5 really pull away again?
Personally, I’m not so sure - the combination of Xbox’s business moves (assuming Activision goes through, that's a lot of potential exclusives) plus its amazing Game Pass service, a product PlayStation has no equivalent for right now, and the better value offered by the Series S over the all-digital PS5 makes me feel that the sales difference in 2022 won’t be so pronounced. No, Starfield won’t sell in the same numbers as God of War Ragnarök in Q4, and those AAA exclusives used to matter when it came to ‘winners’ and ‘losers’; but Xbox seems to be moving away from betting everything on a small handful of massive-budget games, and towards a more complete service that offers its audience a wider array of experiences, for a pretty fair amount each month. That said, 'owning' Call of Duty won't hurt, either.
But then, I’m not a professional analyst, so my opinion counts for zilch here (see you in December, when PlayStation hasn’t done double Xbox’s numbers). And besides, neither PS5 nor Series consoles will be the biggest seller of 2022, says Harding-Rolls. “The biggest-selling console in the market will be the Nintendo Switch,” he predicts, suggesting it’ll shift 21 million units, driven by demand for the new OLED model (our review, here). Now that, I can believe. Best console of all time, mate.
Featured Image Credit: Marcos Ferreira via Unsplash / Bestami Sarikaya via Unsplash
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