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Xbox And PS5 Drive Console Sales Growth Despite Drought

The new Xbox Series X/S and PlayStation 5 have fuelled a slight uptick in game console sales despite shortages leaving potential customers in the lurch.

Data from market tracker GSD shows 2.7 million games consoles were sold across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Australia, and parts of Asia in the first six months of this year, alongside 8.2 million accessories and 82 million video games.

This represents a four per cent increase year-on-year over the same period in 2020, and was driven by Sony and Microsoft, which combined sold 53 per cent of games consoles compared to 40 per cent in the first half of last year; Nintendo Switch sales, meanwhile, dropped 26 per cent.

Accessories, however, were down five per cent year-on-year, and game software plunged 22 per cent; however, Christopher Dring, Head of Games B2B at gamesindustry.biz, attributes this to skyrocketing sales during pandemic lockdowns in the first half of 2020 and points out that software sales are still up 5.6 per cent as compared to 2019.

Controllers – particularly the PS5 DualSense controller – were the top selling accessory, while the best-selling game was FIFA 21.

Xbox Series X and PS5 consoles are still plagued by shortages, with retailers unable to source stock and scalpers selling the consoles at hugely inflated prices. The digital-only Xbox Series S is plentiful, however, and consistently for sale at retailers including JB Hi-Fi.

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