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A man bagging a PlayStation 5 sold at retail — a rare find even in February 2022, 15 months after the console first debuted. CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP via Getty Images
A man bagging a PlayStation 5 sold at retail — a rare find even in February 2022, 15 months after the console first debuted. CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP via Getty Images


PlayStation’s PlayStation 5 was the best-selling console in the United States last month, according to market research company the NPD Group.
For December, the best-selling game was Nintendo’s Switch. But, according to the Adobe Digital Economy Index, on November 1, Black Friday, Microsoft’s Xbox Series S dominated sales.
It has nothing in common with their popularity, NPD Group Executive Director Mat Piscatella explained to Insider. Instead, the fluctuations are mostly affected by the current supply chain crisis, which is impacting everything from furniture to game consoles.
“The boost in demand driven by the pandemic that started in March 2020 eventually cleaned out an inventory of available console hardware,” Piscatella explained to Insider that the industry began to experience difficulties in the late summer of 2020. “The market’s never been able to catch up to true consumer demand since.”

Nintendo
Nintendo has faced persistent speculation about its plans for a new version of its Switch console Photo: AFP / Behrouz MEHRI

For example, last month, Piscatella said that Sony’s PlayStation 5 outsold Nintendo’s Switch and Microsoft’s Xbox consoles, not simply because it’s a loved console with great demand but also because Sony was able to supply more in comparison to Microsoft or Nintendo.

It isn’t an entirely new phenomenon, according to Piscatella.

The supply of consoles — which is being impacted by the chip shortage, the ongoing supply chain issues, as well as significant shipping issues that affect all consumer goods, has been a “significant factor” in monthly sales charts for more than 1.5 years as of this moment.

“Supply has played a role in the console sales rankings since around September 2020,” the executive said.

In the end, it’s almost impossible to know what the current market for video games appears to be.

“Market shares are swinging rather dramatically from week to week and month-to-month, driven entirely by the supply of consoles,” Piscatella said to Insider. “I do not know what true demand is for any individual console, nor the hardware market. Sales curves right now are not normalized because of these supply challenges.”

Unfortunately, one thing is certain: it will be almost impossible to purchase an electronic game console until 2022.

 

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