Xbox Series S surpasses PS5 sales in Japan for the first time

The Xbox Series S has become an unlikely champ for Microsoft in Japan. The cheaper, 1080p-oriented console surpassed Sony’s PlayStation 5 in Japan for the first time.

The news comes courtesy of Limited Run Games Japan Business Manager Alex Anielwho quoted the sales figures of Famitsu for the week of May 9 to May 15. The Xbox Series S sold 6,120 units, more than double the PS5’s combined 2,963 units for Sony’s physical and digital versions of the console.

Related: Xbox in Japan: The Battle to Win the Console Race in Microsoft’s Toughest Market

Xbox has always struggled to establish itself in the Japanese market. While PlayStations comfortably sell in the millions, only the Xbox 360 has reached seven figures in Japan. The Xbox One barely sold over 100,000, and while Microsoft touts Japan as its fastest-growing market, combined Xbox Series X and S sales still don’t top 200,000, according to Family.


A few other notable observations. First, the PS5’s lifetime sales in Japan are around 1.6 million, far outpacing Xbox, and would likely be even higher were it not for the global supply shortages of Sony’s latest console. Second, the paltry Xbox Series X sales indicate that Japan much prefers the smaller Xbox Series S, perhaps due to a lack of 4K TVs in Japan or because Japanese customers prefer “its compact and “cute” design.”

Or maybe last week’s sales numbers have more to do with supply than anything else. Like one Twitter user notedAmazon Japan received a shipment of Xbox Series S consoles while PS5s were still out of stock.

TheGamer recently spoke to several experts, and although many expressed doubts that Microsoft would really enter Japan with the Xbox Series X | S, they touted the console for its appeal to Japanese audiences. Besides the Xbox Series S design, Game Pass also offers something the PlayStation 5 simply doesn’t: day-one releases of the latest titles. Even with PlayStation’s revamped PlayStation Plus, Game Pass will still offer a much larger game library of newer games than its competitor.

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