Xbox doesn’t tend to release console sales figures unless significant milestones are reached, meaning there are no official figures for how Xbox Series X and Series S systems have performed.
However, in a newly published review of the console market in 2022, Ampere Analysis’ Piers Harding-Rolls estimated that 18.5 million consoles had been sold by the end of last year.
Harding-Rolls notes that while sales of both the PS5 and Xbox Series X were held back due to ongoing stock shortages, Xbox managed to slightly increase its share of unit sales over the past year due to the more widely available Xbox Series S.
“However,” he notes, “the level of demand for Series S during the holiday season, even with pricing promotions, suggests that it does not have the high-end pull of its bigger brother.”
As such, Harding-Rolls predicts that the sales gap between PS5 and Xbox Series X/S will increase in the first half of 2023, at least until Xbox Series X shortages end.
“Availability of PlayStation 5 improved towards the end of the year, especially in the US, and global stock has been much more regularly available in 2023,” he explained.
“Ampere expects the gap between PlayStation and Xbox unit sales to widen in the first half of 2023, with Xbox Series X only becoming more consistently available in the second half of the year.”
Elsewhere in his analysis, Harding-Rolls claims that Microsoft’s share of the gaming market – combining sales of hardware, game content and subscriptions – grew from 25.5% in 2021 to 27.3% in 2022, while Sony’s dropped from 46.3% to 45%.
Harding-Rolls attributes this to the fact that “spending on Xbox console hardware and console-based Game Pass services grew” compared to 2021, and that “Microsoft extended its market share lead in the console subscription segment and delivered an all-time high for Xbox Game Pass subscribers in the final three months of the year”.
Microsoft president Brad Smith claimed during a press conference last week that Sony’s PlayStation has a 70% share of the global console market versus Xbox’s 30%.
Following a European Commission hearing at which Microsoft presented arguments for why its proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard should be approved, Smith also claimed that PlayStation outsold Xbox by 69/31 towards the end of 2022.