For the first time in 8 years, Xbox overtakes PlayStation in Japan

Stranger than a solar eclipse. That could define what happened this week in the Japanese sales charts, in which Xbox overtook PlayStation for the first time in eight years. And yes, you read correctly. Eight years! According to the data, the PS5 would have sold only 2,693 units, while the Xbox Series S would have managed to put 6,120 consoles on the market. Some will think that its older sister will have gone much further, but on the contrary, the Xbox Series X has not exceeded 105 (and there are no missing numbers, they are 105 dry).

The numbers seem to be due to the lack of stock which will rob us of consoles until 2024. Just look at the fact that the PlayStation 5 managed to sell 49,798 units last week and the Xbox Series X some 3,508 consoles. In other words, Sony sold 20 times more and Microsoft around 30. So it’s not a lack of demand, but of supply. It’s still a surprising result, because Japan has always been a hostile territory for the American brand. At a historical level, it has barely 2.3 million Xboxes sold between all generations (and 1.6 million of them are thanks to the Xbox 360). This result has only happened 10 times in Xbox history and the last one was in 2014, just the week Xbox One launched.

The big problem with the new generation of consoles

This isn’t the first time new consoles have performed worse than expected due to a lack of stock. Sony’s forecast for the 2021/22 academic year called for 22.6 million PS5s sold, a figure that had to be corrected down mid-year due to the microprocessor situation. The then-estimated 19.3 million was also not an achievable goal and in its latest financial report, the Japanese company admitted to selling 17.3 million PS5s, two short of expectations.

Many will think that the economic progress of developers doesn’t affect gamers, but nothing could be further from the truth. Due to the current limited base of next-gen consoles, most studios prefer to have their games released on as many platforms as possible, new or old, in order to sell more. This has led us to get used to intergenerational projects that do not fully exploit the technological potential of machines.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen various technical boasts of Unreal Engine 5, Fortnite’s new parent graphics engine, which we miss by continuing to cling to outdated hardware. We leave you with one of these demonstrations, a reconstruction of the Etchū-Daimon station in Japan, the result of which could not be more impressive. A veritable festival of light effects, textures and reflections. It’s imagining a horror game taking place in such a place and giving us goosebumps. Will we see it with our “brand new” consoles at 500 euros?

spring | VGC

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