Sunday, August 7

13.4 million PS5 have already been sold compared to 8 million Xbox Series S / X, but Game Pass is the true future of Microsoft

At Sony they can be happy: they sold 3.3 million PS5s last quarter (third of the year, second fiscal) and that has made the total number of PS5s sold amounts to 13.4 million units. At this point the PS4 had sold 13.8 million, which makes clear the parallel evolution of sales in both.

Comparisons are unavoidable, and while Microsoft hasn’t released official figures, It is estimated that more than 8 million of its new Xbox Series S / X have already been sold. It is a more than respectable number, and although it is clear that Sony sells more consoles, the true success of Microsoft – and much of its future in the segment – is in Xbox Game Pass.

Sony sells more hardware, but beware that the comparisons are obnoxious

During the presentation of fiscal results Sony revealed which has managed to sell 3.3 million PS5s. The new console definitely leaves its predecessor behind– The PS4 sold 200,000 units when the previous quarter had still sold half a million units.

Source: VGChartz.

Even so, they have sold a total of 116.62 million PS4, a figure that even threatens the 118.69 million that the mythical Nintendo Game Boy achieved throughout its history, which would make the PlayStation 4 the third best-selling console in history behind the PS2 (157.68 million) and the Nintendo DS (154.90 million) according to VGChartz figures.

In the last presentation of financial results the CEO of Sony, Hiroki Totoki, indicated to investors that they expected exceed 14.8 million PS4s that were sold in the first year for the sale of that console, and it seems clear that they are on the right track to achieve it.

In fact, the Japanese company indicated then that they had guaranteed components to meet their forecasts of selling 22.6 million PS5s as of March 2022. The figure is remarkable, but it seems clear that if they manufactured more they would also sell themSince it is still difficult to get hold of a PS5 (and an Xbox Series X) as soon as units are available for sale.

These figures contrast with the sales of the Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X, which are not official but that analysts such as the well-known Daniel Ahmad estimated at more than 8 million units. The PS5 continues to sell much more than the new Xbox, but Microsoft already made it clear long ago that their strategy in the Xbox division is very different.

In fact, in this strategy the hardware – despite be selling newer consoles than the ones they sold with the Xbox One or the Xbox 360— is no longer as relevant, and what they continue to strengthen relentlessly is their Xbox Game Pass service, which according to Ahmad’s estimates already has more than 20 million subscribers.


Content and services have been the focus of Microsoft’s Xbox division for years. Source: Daniel Ahmad.

In fact their own financial results Microsoft made it clear that selling consoles (the hardware) no longer matters as much as selling Xbox Game Pass subscriptions (services). Precisely services already represent 80% of the revenues of that division, for 20% of the hardware.

The trend that was already evident with the sales of the PS4 and Xbox One maintains for the moment its legacy with the new generation of consoles, but Microsoft is clear that consoles are by no means the end of the story, and that the conquest of gamers is through its video game streaming service.