Why the Xbox Series S outselling the PS5 in Japan is a big deal

Japan is supposed to be PlayStation territory, but for the first time in a very long time, it's not.


Japan is PlayStation's turf - it's where Sony was founded and where the original PlayStation was first launched in 1994. So, it should not come off as a surprise that the PlayStation has almost always outsold the Xbox in the land of the rising sun, and by a huge margin too.

It's been nearly a decade since an Xbox console outsold a PlayStation console in Japan.

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However, for some reason, this didn't happen last week.

According to the latest data (courtesy of Weekly Famitsu), the Xbox Series S sold 6,120 units alone. In comparison, the combined sales of PS5 and PS5 Digital Edition didn't even reach half that figure at just 2,693 units. The last time that the Xbox outsold a PlayStation was in 2014 when Xbox One hit the market in Japan. Since then, the PS4 and the PS5 have sold more units compared to their Xbox competitors every week.

Here are the complete hardware sales figures from May 9-15 in Japan:

  • Switch OLED - 35,868
  • Switch - 20,443
  • Switch Lite - 9,011
  • Xbox Series S - 6,120
  • PS5 - 2,240
  • PS5 Digital Edition - 453
  • New 2DS LL - 235
  • Xbox Series X - 105
  • PS4 - 22

Now that the Xbox Series S has outsold the PS5 in Japan, is this a sign of things to come? Probably not.

While the Xbox Series S is a worthy alternative in light of the Xbox Series X and the PS5 stock shortage, this shouldn't last long. Eventually, Sony will have the numbers to meet the still-fervent demand for the PS5. If the Xbox Series S can continue outselling the PS5 when that time comes, only then can we start talking about a "new age" for Microsoft's consoles, at least in Asia.

The Xbox Series S is another proof that power isn't always everything in the console market.

Still, the high sales numbers of the Xbox Series S are a good start and nothing can take that away from Microsoft. If anything, this just confirms that Microsoft had the right idea in mind when it came out with a "weaker" version of the Xbox Series X.

We wouldn't be surprised if Sony copies Microsoft and releases a "cheaper" version of the next PlayStation console.

Speaking of the Xbox, the Xbox Series S/X outsold the PS5 in March. Unfortunately, this was a temporary win as the PS5 regained its position the following month as the Switch outsold the PS4 in lifetime sales. It will be interesting to see if the numbers will trend upward again for Microsoft after the Xbox and Bethesda showcase in June. The tech giant will have to do a great job at selling consumers on upcoming games after delaying Starfield and Redfall to 2023.

Ray Ampoloquio
Ray is a lifelong gamer with a nose for keeping up with the latest news in and out of the gaming industry. When he's not reading, writing, editing, and playing video games, he builds and repairs computers in his spare time. You can find Ray on Twitter.
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