It’s no big secret that Microsoft has struggled to crack into the Japanese market. All four generations of Xbox have seen minuscule uptake in a country that vastly prefers to buy domestic hardware from Nintendo and Sony. However, last week something extraordinary happened. Over May 9-15, the Xbox Series S outsold the PS5 by a 2:1 ratio.
Is Xbox outselling PlayStation in Japan?
【ソフト＆ハード週間販売数】『Nintendo Switch Sports』が2週連続で首位に！ 実写ミステリアドベンチャー『春ゆきてレトロチカ』もトップ10入り【5/9～5/15】
— ファミ通.com (@famitsu) May 19, 2022
Looking at these numbers (via Famitsu), you might think that Microsoft has finally hit its stride in Japan after two decades. However, while the Xbox Series X|S line of consoles has sold better, it seems to be more of an issue of low PS5 stock than a sudden burst in popularity.
Looking at the hardware sales volume for Japan from May 9-15, 2022, we get:
- Switch (OLED): 35,868 (1,757,190 cumulative)
- Switch (Base Model): 20,443 (18,288,180 cumulative)
- Xbox Series S: 6,120 (105,408 cumulative)
- PS5 (Disc): 2,240 (1,385,128 cumulative)
- Switch Lite: 901 (4,712,930 cumulative)
- PS5 (Digital): 453 (235,710 cumulative)
- New Nintendo 2DS LL: 235 (1,185,959 cumulative)
- Xbox Series X: 105 (99,469 cumulative)
- PS4: 22 (7,811,548 cumulative)
Another interesting stat is that the New Nintendo 2DS LL outsold both the Xbox Series X and PS4. A surprising feat considering the last 3DS game was released almost three years ago.
What’s more telling is the fact that all of the 10 best-selling software titles for this period are for the Nintendo Switch:
- Nintendo Switch Sports: 47,525
- Kirby: Discover of the Stars: 14,903
- Mario Kart 8 Deluxe: 11,127
- eBASEBALL: Powerful Professional Baseball 2022: 10,372
- Ring Fit Adventure: 6,839
- Minecraft (Switch): 6,553
- The Centennial Case: A Shijima Story: 6,409
- Super Smash Bros. Ultimate: 5,849
- Mario Party Superstars: 4,360
- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: 4,245
Many fans have hypothesized that Sony’s increased focus on the West (including establishing Sony Interactive Entertainment HQ in San Mateo, CA) has alienated some of its Japanese audience. Software sales heavily lean toward Nintendo, which low hardware stocks can’t totally explain.
In other news, the next-gen The Witcher 3 port gets a new release window, and the PS5 is getting its first console bundle.