Xbox Series X / S Estimated Sales Figures Hint Towards Some Power Shifts This Generation

It has been well over a year since Microsoft and Sony kick-started the ninth generation of consoles with the release of Xbox Series X / S and PS5, respectively. Both of these machines have gotten better with time, and both have continued to sell well – so well, in fact, that it’s almost impossible to buy them.

PlayStation 5’s first year of sales has been an extremely fruitful one, with the console outselling the competition by a significant margin. However, in light of some recent sales estimates, it seems that Xbox Series X consoles might not be as far away from Sony as many may have thought – which holds some interesting ramifications for the future.


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Xbox Series X / S Recent Sales Estimates


Microsoft made a pretty bold bet this generation by offering two console tiers, with the Xbox Series X being the definitive place to enjoy next-gen games while the Xbox Series S is aimed at casual gamers or those who are on a tight budget. Of course, both come with their own advantages and disadvantages – but Microsoft’s efforts towards catering to a much wider audience than before have been successful.

This sentiment is reflected in sales figures for the consoles. Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer has already said in a recent interview that Xbox Series X / S has been the best-selling consoles in the company’s history. The fact that these consoles have been outselling the Xbox 360 is intriguing. This alone would put the consoles well above the 8 million mark, which is still respectable enough when compared against PS5’s 13 million + sales mark. However, Daniel Ahmad of Niko Partners has estimated that Xbox Series X / S has sold over 12 million units. If these estimates are to be believed, Microsoft is not as far behind Sony which changes a lot of things for both parties.

Xbox Series X / S and PS5: A Tug Of War

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Unlike the eighth generation of consoles, where Sony dominated the console market with the PS4 thanks to an excellent library of first-party titles, the competition seems to be much more neck to neck from the onset. Microsoft has learned a lot from its past missteps with the Xbox One and made a lot of right moves at the tail-end of the last generation, which have started paying off big time for the Redmond-based giant.

The biggest and most successful of these bets is Xbox Game Pass, which gives subscribers access to an extensive library of games at one monthly cost. In addition to a ton of high-profile third-party releases on the platforms, Xbox Game Pass also provides access to the entirety of Xbox’s first-party games on day one of their release.

This combined with the slew of acquisitions that Microsoft has completed in the last couple of years has made the subscription service one of the more enchanting parts of being in an ecosystem. The sheer value proposition of Xbox Game Pass also makes the $ 300 entry point with Xbox Series S a lot more attractive, which in turn makes a strong case for fans on a budget to go the Xbox route this time around all while being sure of receiving compelling exclusives throughout the generation.

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Xbox Series X / S and PS5: The Battle of Exclusives

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Most fans would agree that the biggest point of consideration before springing up for a console are the exclusives that the platform offers. It’s fair to say that there is no longer any drought of exclusives in the Xbox ecosystem, as was the case with the Xbox One generation. With over 30 internal studios in the Xbox Game Studios roster (including the ABK conglomerate), Xbox has a much more diverse lineup of exclusives spanning across multiple genres such as racing, shooters, Western RPGs, tactics, and so much more.

That’s not to say that Sony is lacking in terms of compelling exclusives – far from it. Uncharted, God of War, The Last of Usand Horizon are some of the most valuable and fan-beloved IPs in modern gaming – boasting massive critical and commercial acclaim with each entry released. However, Sony has been lacking in terms of variety when compared to Xbox, although it is certainly improving itself with games such as the likes of Returnal.

That said, sequels to the aforementioned IPs will only be available on PlayStation platforms, which will be more than enough reason for millions of fans to jump on board. Ultimately it depends on what one prefers, but the competition is not as one-sided as it was before. As such, both parties will constantly have to innovate and outperform each other – which is ultimately best for end-consumers.

Xbox Series X / S vs PS5: How Sony Might Bounce Back


Of course, Sony is also aware of its lacking in the subscription service department – and has been reportedly working on a competitor to Xbox Game Pass currently codenamed Project Spartacus. The service will have three tiers to it – a base tier with access to PS Plus, a second one with both PS Plus and PS Now, and a final one with all of these benefits plus a handful of PS1, PS2, and PS3 classics.

Sure, Sony Spartacus might not match up to Xbox Game Pass in terms of sheer value, but it certainly looks to be a step in the right direction. After an initial launch, Sony can certainly make improvements to the service to make it more competitive with Xbox’s offerings. In addition to this, Sony also has a firm position in the VR market space, thanks to the incredibly successful PSVR and its upcoming follow-up the PSVR2.

The Tokyo-based giant has also made some important acquisitions of its own to bolster its offerings in the VR department. Horizon: Call of the Mountain is a great example of this, with Guerilla Games working on the title alongside the newly-acquired Firesprite. The PSVR2 could be a game-changer for Sony if it manages to keep an attractive pricing model for the headset and deliver compelling exclusives for it – especially since Xbox is sorely lacking in this department.

An Interesting Generation To Witness

Halo God of War

All these factors combined paint a very competitive picture for both console makers, with Microsoft clearly ahead of Sony in a couple of key departments all while being behind in some others. With both machines selling pretty quickly to the point of being nigh impossible to buy, it’s clear that Microsoft and Sony have started the generation on mostly equal footing.

As such, the moves that both of these parties make in the coming years will be pretty important for defining who gets to have the bigger slice of the pie this generation. It’s great news for end-consumers since owners of either console are sure to have a much better experience this time around. For observers of the industry, it will be an interesting generation to witness, to say the least.

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