The PS5 sold 10 times more the number of units in Japan than the Xbox Series X and S in 2021, it has been reported. The new Xbox was also outsold by the PS4 in the region, though both PlayStation platforms were roundly outperformed by the Nintendo Switch.
PS5 sales beat Xbox but not Nintendo Switch
According to a report from the Japanese gaming publication Famitsu, posted to Twitter by user @Stealth40k, the PS5 sold 942,000 units throughout 2021, while the PS4 sold 103,000 units. The Xbox Series X and S, which have been grouped together, have sold 95,000 units.
However, the big winner is still the Nintendo Switch, which has shifted 5.3 million units compared to the 5.1 million it sold in 2020. This continues the Switch’s trend of selling more units each year, with its sales having yet to slow down.
Famitsu reported on the 2021 total sales of all the systems:
Switch – 5.3m (2020 was 5.1m)
PS5 – 942k
PS4 – 103k
Xbox Series – 95k
From 2017 to 2021, Switch has sold more and more every single year in Japan. There has been no decline ever.
— Stealth (@Stealth40k) January 6, 2022
The Xbox brand has always notably struggled in Japan compared to PlayStation, but the Xbox Series X and S have actually been performing better in the region than their predecessors. For comparison, the Xbox One’s sales only hit the 100,000 units sold in four years — meaning that the Xbox Series X and S have nearly hit that previous unfortunate milestone within a year.
For PlayStation, the PS5’s sales in its year after launch have beaten the PS4’s sales within that same timeframe, but not by much. In 2014, the PS4 achieved just over 900,000 units sold, meaning that the PS5 has shifted a little under 50,000 units more than its predecessor. However, considering the console has faced major stock shortages as a result of the pandemic, it could have potentially sold far more than the PS4.
In other news, a PlayStation Tournaments update will soon give the PS5 dedicated esports features. A former Guerrilla developer also claimed that Horizon on PSVR 2 will revolutionize VR gaming.
Opinion: Switch’s success over PS5 and Xbox shows the value of handhelds
Paul writes… The PS5 has performed slightly better than the PS4 in the same timeframe, but the Nintendo Switch’s jaw-dropping sales really highlight the value of handhelds. 2021 wasn’t exactly a stellar year for new Switch games, yet somehow it managed to beat its performance in 2020, a year that also had Animal Crossing. People want convenient gaming, and between Switch’s portability and Xbox’s ‘Play Anywhere’ between Xbox, PC, and Xbox Cloud Gaming along with its Game Pass-led strategy, this is an area in which Sony is struggling.
Valve’s Steam Deck is set to be released soon, with it looking set to show a huge audience how high-end games can reasonably be shrunk down and played on the go. Though Sony hasn’t hinted that it’s looking to go back to the handheld space anytime soon, a dedicated handheld Vita 2 (or a brand new machine) that could shrink PS5’s exclusives to a small screen would fly off the shelves.