PS5 sold nearly twice as many units in 2020 as XBSX

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 2,778   +695
Staff member
TL;DR: It appears that Sony has a significant lead in next-gen console sales against Microsoft. So far, the PlayStation 5 moved almost twice as many units as the Xbox Series X|S. Globally, the PS5 is the favorite console in all but 12 countries. However, the US and China favored the XBSX.

The next-generation console war is not over, but 2020 sales figures are in, and Sony's PlayStation 5 has taken a commanding lead over Xbox Series X in terms of market share. Market analysis group GamingSmart notes that as of the end of December, PS5 commands nearly two-thirds of the market with 4.48 million in sales versus 2.4 million next-gen Xbox units moved. Analysts had predicted the reverse back in October based on perceived consumer interest.

PlayStation also dominated sales in nearly all 167 countries analyzed. Xbox only led in 12 regions. That said, Microsoft did edge out Sony in two significant markets, the United States and China. In the US, Xbox barely holds on to a lead over the PS5, 50.18 to 49.80 percent. Its dominance in China is a bit more concrete, where it has 60.45 percent saturation. Microsoft also commands the Mexico demographic, 62.27 percent to 37.73 percent.

Despite Sony's commanding lead, Microsoft has been slowly gaining ground in the console market over the last few years. In 2018, Xbox consoles made up 25.29 percent of the pie. By 2019, it had increased its cut to 37.41. In 2020, the total Xbox market share was 39.29 percent. If Microsoft continues this upward trend, it may catch up to its rival.

There is also the unusual launch conditions that the companies faced for this generation to consider. The coronavirus pandemic threw off production schedules, so supplies for both consoles were probably not as high as either team would have liked. There also seemed to be a significant increase in scalper activity than in past generations. Those two factors managed to drive resales of next-gen consoles into the $1,000 range on sites like eBay.

As we head into 2021, things are likely to calm down a bit. Both Sony and Microsoft have promised larger and more frequent shipments, which should drive scalper prices down as availability through retail outlets increases.

Image credit: GamingSmart

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Tom Yum

Posts: 63   +132
There has existed significant anti-Japanese sentiment in China for quite some time (for historic reasons), so no surprise at all the PS5 would lag there, and the US has been pro Xbox since the original. It would be interesting to see the breakdown between Series S and X sales, from a developers perspective the Series S is a bit of an outlier given its previous-gen performance levels. If it gets little traction I could see it getting quietly discontinued.
 
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m4a4

Posts: 2,185   +2,233
TechSpot Elite
Eh, more of these "console war" type articles?

I think I would rather see games/hardware/software/overall sale comparisons to actually get a better look at where they're at as "rivals". Hardware doesn't mean much these days, especially when it's so early in the cycle (and one is focusing more on hardware than the other).
 

yeeeeman

Posts: 370   +319
Fanboys. If any of these console gamers would actually buy the hardware for what it is and buy the best there is they would buy a pc. In their case, the choice is just a brand preference, nothing more.
 

m4a4

Posts: 2,185   +2,233
TechSpot Elite
Fanboys. If any of these console gamers would actually buy the hardware for what it is and buy the best there is they would buy a pc. In their case, the choice is just a brand preference, nothing more.
I can't tell if you're trolling, or don't see the irony in your comment.

At the very least, some people buy consoles for convenience, or because of the exclusives (which I would personally like to see no more of).
That sounds like more than nothing lol
 

pit1209

Posts: 141   +232
Fanboys. If any of these console gamers would actually buy the hardware for what it is and buy the best there is they would buy a pc. In their case, the choice is just a brand preference, nothing more.
What does that mean? Building a PC is playing the same "I like this brand better no matter what" game as consoles but it's going to be much more expensive and if we're talking about value then consoles are better than PC's by a mile, I'm talking about gaming mind you.
 
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NeoMorpheus

Posts: 206   +360
There has existed significant anti-Japanese sentiment in China for quite some time (for historic reasons), so no surprise at all the PS5 would lag there, and the US has been pro Xbox since the original. It would be interesting to see the breakdown between Series S and X sales, from a developers perspective the Series S is a bit of an outlier given its previous-gen performance levels. If it gets little traction I could see it getting quietly discontinued.
Funny you mention that, because the Japanese market is notorious for their xenophobia.

Hell, they hate SEGA because the creator of the company was american, even though it it a japanese company.

Personally, besides the exclusives (which actually makes me avoid a platform), there are no reasons for me to choose a PS5 over a Xbox+GamePass.

 

Tom Yum

Posts: 63   +132
Funny you mention that, because the Japanese market is notorious for their xenophobia.

Hell, they hate SEGA because the creator of the company was american, even though it it a japanese company.

Personally, besides the exclusives (which actually makes me avoid a platform), there are no reasons for me to choose a PS5 over a Xbox+GamePass.
Oh definitely, MS could give Xbox's away in Japan and the PS5 would still outsell it.

Personally, I'm a 'pick up a PS console late cycle for cheap exclusives, and game PC all other times' person. Love game pass on PC, but it also makes it hard to justify a Xbox (for me, everyone is different obviously).
 

Edster

Posts: 75   +57
Fanboys. If any of these console gamers would actually buy the hardware for what it is and buy the best there is they would buy a pc. In their case, the choice is just a brand preference, nothing more.
Well. Considering most people would need a graphics card to play games...... they are soooo in stock.

But seriously, a decent GPU (read 3060Ti) could easily cost more than the console itself. Then consider all the other parts and the peripherals needed. Believe it or not, most people don't really have a need for a desktop PC, the entire thing is a new purchase. And gaming laptops, which is hard enough for PC Master Race to accept as their own, just aren't good laptops for every day use for most people (bad battery, chunky).



As for the topic. Am I still correct to say, all consoles are mostly sold out, and that this basically show who managed to produce more consoles and show how they are distributed?
 
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defaultluser

Posts: 89   +67
Only fools predicted or believed that... and hardcore xbots.

Precisely. MS had to claw it's way back to 33% after the terrible launch of the One by cutting the price on the conole.

Before Covid made it easy to sell a console at MSRP, Microsoft was regularly selling their Xbox One X on Amazon for $20 less than the $400 PS4 Pro, just to claw back share. The One S was also regularly priced $50 below the PS4 Slim.

When prices are identical, I expect more of the same 66 / 33 split (but if it has a similarly bad launch lineup as the One did, I expect it to fall back to 75 / 25)!

As much as MS likes to pretend that services are everything, if you have less people buying consoles, then you have less eoplem using those high-margin services...and f they end-up having to discount the hardware by over 20% again, you have to wonder if they are making any money at all?
 

QuantumPhysics

Posts: 4,322   +4,578
I stopped caring who was selling more units. Nintendo beats them both.

All of them are working together to ensure they all sell a unit and they get your money one at a time.

These aren't console wars.
 

brucek

Posts: 708   +940
TechSpot Elite
The headline is framed in terms of sales but should have been in terms of manufacturing. Meaning, as both products sold all available supply, we do not yet have any information on depth of consumer demand for either (beyond that it greatly exceeded supply.)

 
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NeoMorpheus

Posts: 206   +360
Oh definitely, MS could give Xbox's away in Japan and the PS5 would still outsell it.

Personally, I'm a 'pick up a PS console late cycle for cheap exclusives, and game PC all other times' person. Love game pass on PC, but it also makes it hard to justify a Xbox (for me, everyone is different obviously).
In my case, I was able to get a series x at retail price, but haven’t been able to get neither a new cpu (to replace my i5-3770k) or gpu (to replace my gtx970).

those 500 bucks are providing me all the gameplay and eye candy that I need.

besides that, I dont have much time for gaming and honestly, prefer to have a device that I just power it on and have fun, instead of dealing with maintenance.

old age does that to you, plus being a hardcore gamer during the DOS and W95 days.
 
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Irata

Posts: 1,225   +1,959
I can't tell if you're trolling, or don't see the irony in your comment.

At the very least, some people buy consoles for convenience, or because of the exclusives (which I would personally like to see no more of).
That sounds like more than nothing lol
Yup, this and price. The first modern console I purchased was a One S. It cost €160 new including a controller and game. Kid wanted to game and my office type PC did not cut it.

Look at what €/$ 499 gets you in terms of gaming power for a console vs PC. Still not a contest.

Note: My kid prefers the PC (now have a proper one) , but he‘s not the one paying for it or putting it together.
 
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George Keech

Posts: 12   +9
I do hope these sort of stories Die away. I know Microsoft don't care about sales, which yes is what they would say anyway but given the giant they are it makes sense consoles don't make much money.

There are also so many side points its difficult to make a true judgement of what it even mean and any significance it has last gen was a clean slate choice.

This Gen is influenced by Back compat - if more people had PS4's and can play there library why would they get an Xbox? Similarly if you use Gamepass why would you get a PS5? then finally all these numbers seem to have limitations on production so given everywhere is out of stock does it just mean PlayStation produced more? that not even getting into regional preferences Like Japan would ever buy significant numbers of Xbox Consoles.

I just worry these stories fan the flames for fanboys. If you like what you got why does it matter if someone else's is better or worse you don't have to look down on other.
 

NightAntilli

Posts: 444   +452
PS5 + PC is basically the ultimate combo, You get all the Xbox exclusives anyway on PC (and at higher quality) and Sony have absolutely killer Exclusives.
Many of the Playstation exclusives are ending up on the Epic Games Store.
The only console worth owning for now, if you have a PC, seems to be Nintendo.
 

NightAntilli

Posts: 444   +452
if by many you mean just 2 almost 2 years after launch then you're right.
You can play pretty much the whole PS4 library on PC with PS Now. And from the top of my head, these are all on the Epic Games Store;

Heavy Rain
Journey
Death Stranding
Horizon Zero Dawn
Detroit Become Human

And then there's;
 

dangh

Posts: 194   +240
You can play pretty much the whole PS4 library on PC with PS Now. And from the top of my head, these are all on the Epic Games Store;

Heavy Rain
Journey
Death Stranding
Horizon Zero Dawn
Detroit Become Human

And then there's;
Timed exclusives from third party is different story. From first party only one game has been ported.
 
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