That’s according to new data from Ampere Analytics, which estimates that the digital-only console is outperforming the more powerful Series X partly due to supply constraints and component shortages.
“Microsoft’s two-tier product strategy was a bold move at launch of the Series generation and the lesser-powered Series S has come into its own against a backdrop of component shortages and Xbox Series X supply constraints,” wrote Ampere’s games research director, Piers Harding-Rolls.
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At $300 / £250, the Xbox Series S console is significantly cheaper than the $500 / £449 Series X, thanks to lower specs than target 1440p gaming instead of native 4K.
According to Ampere, the success of the Series S is said to be having a significant impact on Xbox digital game sales when compared to the PlayStation 5, which still positions its disc-based model ahead of the digital-only SKU in retail.
As of the end of September 2021, Ampere estimates that the Xbox Series family has sold 6.7 million consoles, with the PS5 family selling 12.8 million. The Nintendo Switch family, which has been in the market for 3 more years, has sold 89.7 million units.
PlayStation 5 supply has recently improved across Western markets, which contributed to the PS5 outselling the Switch in Europe by “some distance”, according to Ampere’s data. The PS5 also outsold the Switch in the US for the first time in September 2021.
The Ampere data suggests that combined sell-through to consumers across Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo reach 9.1 million during July to September 2021, however, this was very likely skewed by continuing availability issues.
This data does not include the recently released Nintendo Switch OLED model, which was released in October.
Sales of Sony’s previous console, the PlayStation 4 have started to slow at a faster than expected rate. Data suggests that while the decline isn’t as severe as the Xbox One, it’s unlikely to emulate the PlayStation 2, which continued to see strong sales during the PlayStation 3 lifecycle.