The first sales figures for the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S in Japan have been revealed by Famitsu, suggesting both consoles had admirable supply-constrained opening week sales.
As both the Xbox Series X/S and PS5 launch around the world, familiar stories of sold-out stock somewhat mask the true demand facing both consoles in their first busy holiday season in the middle of a pandemic. The story in Japan was no different, with both consoles selling out their stock allocations and resorting to lotteries for pre-orders.
Following the release of the Xbox Series X/S on 10 November and PS5 on 12 November, all sales figures released today by Famitsu track opening week sales up to and including 16 November, giving us four days of sales figures for Sony and six days for Microsoft. Unsurprisingly, the PS5 did sell more than the Xbox Series X/S in its opening week, with final figures for that console reaching 118,085 units, in comparison to the Xbox’s 20,534. The highest-selling package title was Spider-Man: Miles Morales with 18,640 units sold, with Xbox titles all being sold digitally.
There are a few things to consider when looking at these numbers. Both companies sold out of their launch allocation, including Xbox which has traditionally performed poorly in the region. Considering supply constraints suggest the company could have sold more (had more stock been made available), sales just shy of the 23,562 units sold for the Xbox One in Japan are admirable.
Game Pass is a major shift in Microsoft’s strategy around the world and could particularly have an impact in Japan on both Xbox consoles and devices such as the PC. The strong value proposition could tempt more players to the system and help the console surpass disappointing life-to-date sales of the Xbox One of just 114,000 units. Meanwhile, PlayStation sales were strong as expected and, like elsewhere, were likely also held back by the difficulty many users have had in purchasing a system.
It remains to be seen how both the Xbox Series X/S and PS5 will perform beyond opening week in Japan; especially when stock is no longer an issue in a region increasingly dominated by Nintendo Switch (which sold 139,000 units last week).