What just happened? PlayStation 5 has long won the game console battle against the Xbox Series X and S in terms of global sales, and a new report has now laid bare the extent of Microsoft's struggles. According to the latest data, PS5 sales in Europe (except the UK and Germany) grew 143 percent year-on-year last October, while Xbox Series S and X sales declined 52 percent.

The report, which comes from GamesIndustry.Biz, revealed a similar month-on-month trend, with PS5 sales up 11 percent compared with September, while Xbox sales were down almost 20 percent. While Nintendo Switch sales in October were also up around 10 percent over the previous month, YoY figures show a 20 percent drop. Overall, 481,000 consoles are said to have been sold across the tracked markets in Europe last month.

Console sales often depend on the popularity of exclusive titles, and all three major consoles got blockbuster new games over the past few weeks. While Starfield launched on the Xbox in September, Spider-Man 2 and Super Mario Bros Wonder launched in October on the PS5 and the Switch, respectively. While all three games have been hits, Starfield's popularity doesn't seem to have helped Microsoft sell more consoles.

Before Starfield, Microsoft struggled to roll out blockbuster titles on the Xbox Series X and S, with many of the exclusive games failing to enthuse gamers. A case in point is Halo Infinite, which was a major disappointment at launch, and although the later seasons have been praised by reviewers, it doesn't seem to have done anything for Xbox sales. Another notable failure was Redfall, which sank without a trace in the face of a barrage of criticism from players and reviewers alike.

The report also revealed that the best-selling game in Europe last month was EA Sports' soccer title FC 24. While its sales numbers were 10 percent lower than last year's FIFA 23, most of that can be attributed to the brand name change (due to licensing issues) and excitement generated around the World Cup in Qatar last year. Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed Mirage was the second highest-selling title, while Sony's Spider-Man 2 also found a position on the podium.