As of the time of writing, the PlayStation 5 has sold more than 17 million units in the past two years, give or take. Meanwhile, the Xbox Series S/X has only sold 12 million units in the same span. Although Sony's flagship console still has a sizable lead over Microsoft's, the increasingly obtainable consoles are starting to catch up.
According to the recent NPD data, the Xbox Series S/X set a new all-time high in hardware sales in March and throughout the first quarter of the year. The numbers line up with an earlier report where the Xbox Series S/X also outsold the PS5. However, what makes the current data unique is that the Xbox Series S/X outsold than Nintendo Switch this time around. The hybrid console almost always beats Sony's and Microsoft's offerings, making this quite a rare occurrence.
Of course, we should note that the Nintendo Switch still sold more units across both time periods. The Xbox Series S/X only led in terms of dollar sales because of its higher price point.
US NPD HW - Xbox Series was the best-selling hardware platform of both March 2022 and the first quarter in dollars, while Switch led both time periods in unit sales.
— Mat Piscatella (@MatPiscatella) April 25, 2022
After trailing by more than 50 million in the previous generation, the current state of the Xbox Series S/X is a cause for celebration. Unfortunately, Bill Gates' lovechild still has a long way to go. The consensus is that the Xbox Series S/X can't outsell the PS5 if there's enough of both to go around. It's nice to see that the Xbox Series S/X's demand and supply were high over the past few months, but we'll have to see if the trend continues going forward.
Then again, Microsoft isn't interested in outselling Sony this generation. The company is currently emphasizing growing the Game Pass. So far, Microsoft's methods have worked. Most gamers today consider Microsoft's two-tiered subscription service as the best one around. But, you can't help wonder if this move is hurting the sales figures of the latest Xbox console.
We're not saying that Microsoft should gun for Xbox 360's previous record of 84 million units shipped. It's just that the recent Xbox Cloud Gaming upgrade gave Xbox One owners zero incentive to upgrade. Although the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is not cheap, history is not on Microsoft's side. Subscription-based business models can't sustain themselves by relying on an ever-growing subscriber count. Case in point, Netflix.
Speaking of the Xbox, reports suggest that Microsoft is already looking into increasing the base price of the Game Pass. If implemented, the new Game Pass would have a "baseline" price of $15 a month. Meanwhile, details of Microsoft's smaller chip for the Xbox Series S/X leaked online a few weeks ago.