The situation for consoles launching in November 2020 is changing.
The PlayStation 5 has mostly finished behind the Nintendo Switch and Xbox Series in sales, even though the demand for Sony’s console suggests that it should not have been the case. There was not enough of the console in stock due to the pandemic, so the PlayStation 5 got off to a slower start than Sony would have expected. Still, things have slowly improved, as last year, during the Christmas rush, it was able to finish in the lead in North America according to NPD Group’s reports, and then the company itself said they had more stock (which is why they began airing the Live from PS5 campaign).
Christopher Dring, who runs Gamesindustry, talked about the situation in Europe. The PlayStation 5 is in a stunning position, with year-on-year sales up 202% in January. In other words, the PlayStation 5 sales have tripled! In turn, it led to the two rivals falling back: the Nintendo Switch was down 11% in January, while the Xbox Series was down 32%. In the UK, the PlayStation 5 sold 98% more units than in January 2022, and many people were reportedly interested in the special edition made for God of War: Ragnarök.
The performance of the Nintendo Switch is understandable: it has already overtaken the PlayStation 4 (despite entering the market three years later). It is slowly reaching everyone unless the big N makes a price cut, which there is no chance of, as the PlayStation 5 (which also sold the most units in North America in January 2023, according to NPD) has increased in price almost everywhere outside the US this autumn. And the Xbox Series couldn’t have done much to hurt PS5 sales if we’re reporting such a drop. The successor to the Nintendo Switch could be an interesting question, but the earliest it will be released is 2024…
So Sony could catch up this year, but Starfield from Bethesda could slow down its expansion somewhat (as usual for Microsoft, games from acquired companies don’t come to rival platforms…).