The global chip shortage is ongoing and it will take a while for manufacturers to resolve the problem, but judging from the current sales figures, it appears that Microsoft is winning the console chip war.
In March, multiple industry sources reported that the Xbox Series S/X outsold the PS5 in North America and Europe for the first time. A month later and it happened again. As per VGChartz, The Xbox Series S/X sold 232,758 units worldwide from March 27 through April 2 with the PS5 selling only 191,950 units during the same span.
We should point out that both new-gen consoles still lost to the Nintendo Switch, which continues its hot streak of chart-topping sales figures with nearly 350,000 units sold. The Switch is now comfortably ahead of the original PlayStation in lifetime sales with 106.49 million units sold compared to 102.49 million.
Going back to the Xbox Series S/X, the reason why we say that Microsoft won this round is simple - the tech giant is meeting the increased demand.
After both launched in November 2020 and effectively sold out for months within hours of making their respective debuts, Microsoft is stocking store shelves with the Xbox Series S/X. On the other hand, Sony is still busy manufacturing both the PS4 and the PS5, the former of which is no longer selling as well presumably because consumers are starting to see how much more value there is to buying the similarly-priced Xbox Series S instead.
Keep in mind that the "weaker" Xbox Series S is still more powerful compared to the PS4 Pro, with the same benefit of getting access to the Game Pass' robust library.
The readily available supply of the Xbox Series S/X on the market stands in stark contrast to the PlayStation 5. Nearly two years later, players still have a hard time getting their hands on Sony's current-gen console. To make matters worse, Sony has failed to justify the need to buy the PS5 now that the luster of getting your hands on the newest shiny thing that Sony has to offer has worn off.
With the likes of Gran Turismo 7 and Horizon Forbidden West also available for the PS4, as well as upcoming titles like God of War: Ragnarok, PS4 owners don't have a reason to upgrade and new console owners don't need to get a PS5 at all since the PS4 is readily available.
The only silver lining here is that the rarity of the PS5 and the "lower" demand means that the console is less attractive today to scalpers than a year ago. Scalpers and bots might still get their hands on the lion's share of PS5 restocks, but persistent buyers have a better shot now than before.
Ultimately, the point we're trying to make here is that Microsoft has gotten its act together while Sony is still scrambling. Hopefully, Sony can find a way to address the shortage before the year ends. Otherwise, the PS5 will head to a third straight holiday with minimal stocks. This is a very real problem that might mar the otherwise perfect start for the fastest-selling PlayStation console.
Speaking of Microsoft, reports earlier this month suggest that the tech giant is beefing up its Game Pass offerings going forward and we're not just talking about securing exclusives as well as day one titles. In particular, one report claims that Microsoft will release an Xbox Game Pass family plan soon. Days later, another report hints at the merging of Xbox Live Gold into Game Pass so that Microsoft can raise the floor price of its subscriptions to $15 a month.