The much awaited Microsoft Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S vs the Sony PlayStation 5 showdown on the shop floors, brick and mortar or online, has turned out to be nothing more than a damp squib. Even as the Sony PlayStation 5 was expected to go on sale in India for the first time today but hasn’t given any hints of actually being available for purchase, the latest generation Microsoft Xbox consoles also remain unavailable on leading shopping platforms including Amazon.in, Reliance Digital and Flipkart. The Sony PlayStation 5 was expected to go on sale today, with the Sony PlayStation 5 standard edition priced at Rs 49,990 and the Sony PlayStation 5 Digital Edition costing Rs 39,990. But it hasn’t, with concerns around stocks and availability. At the time of writing this, the PS5 consoles remain unavailable on the Sony Center online store, Amazon.in, Reliance Digital and Vijay Sales, to name a few. It is the same situation with the latest Xbox consoles. The PlayStation 5 consoles, if the actual expected shop floor battles had commenced as we all hoped, would have competed directly with the Microsoft Xbox Series X priced at Rs 49,990 and the Xbox Series S that costs Rs 39,990.
If the numbers give us any hints, it seems the Sony PlayStation 5 is outselling the Microsoft Xbox Series X and the Xbox Series S consoles combined. This is keeping in mind the fact that the PlayStation 5 launched a bit after the newest Xbox consoles, and has gone on sale in some countries including India, much later. The new Xbox consoles went on sale in India in early November. According to numbers by game sales tracker VGChartz updated on Jan 16, Sony has shipped 127,712 units of the PlayStation 5 consoles worldwide, while Microsoft has clocked combined shipments of just 76,525 units for the Xbox Series X and the Xbox Series S globally. In fact, the older generation Sony PlayStation 4 wasn’t too far behind the newest Xbox consoles, clocking 68,133 shipments. For the specific regional trends, the PlayStation 5 is outselling the newest generation Xbox consoles in North America, Europe as well as Japan. In fact, in Japan, Xbox Series X and Series S have sold a combined 164 units only, till now.
The Sony PlayStation 5, albeit just the standard variant had gone Live for preorders last month, and was sold out within a few hours. Shopping platforms including Amazon.in, Croma, Reliance Digital, Vijay Sales and the Sony Center online store were accepting preorders for the PlayStation 5 console, including certain No Cost EMI schemes with credit cards. “PS5 has met with unprecedented enthusiasm by PlayStation fans in India, resulting in a stockout during the pre-order period,” Sony India had said in an official statement at the time. The PlayStation 5 didn’t go Live for preorders again, even though Sony didn’t share any numbers in terms of how many PS5 consoles were pre-ordered by gamers. The company is expected to share a statement on the India sale status in the coming hours.
The Microsoft Xbox Series S alongside the Series X albeit in limited numbers, had gone on sale just ahead of the festive season late last year. But the two Xbox consoles have been largely unavailable since, with offline stores as well as online shopping platforms. Mike Spencer, Microsoft’s Head of Investor Relations, had already told the New York Times that there has been high demand for the new Xbox consoles and that they are “working tirelessly with our manufacturing and retail partners to replenish Xbox hardware as quickly as possible.” We have reached out to Microsoft India for any guidance on when the latest generation Xbox consoles will be available for purchase again, but we are yet to hear back.
Perhaps the global shipment numbers aren’t a surprise, as these numbers are indicative of the larger demand trends. The Xbox Series X, which Microsoft regularly claimed is the world’s most powerful gaming console, was getting outperformed by the Sony PlayStation 5, at least in the early days of the latest generation gaming console face-off. The good folks over at Digital Foundry had run a series of comparison tests between the Sony PlayStation 5 and the Microsoft Xbox Series X and the Xbox Series S gaming consoles, and noted how the PS5 fared significantly better in the overall gaming experience.
At this time, it remains unclear when the stock situation for the Sony PlayStation 5, the Microsoft Xbox Series X and indeed the Microsoft Xbox Series S will stabilise, and you won’t have to embark on a long wait to get your hands on either or all of the newest generation gaming consoles. The slowdown in supply chains through most of last year, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, is still having an impact on production and shipment numbers.