PS4 Outsells the PS5 in Japan, Both the Standard and Digital Combined, Highlights Struggle to Meet Inventory Demands

PS4 & PS5

Famitsu published the latest two-week sales numbers, encompassing the period between December 21, 2020 to January 3, 2021. During this time, the standard PS4 outsold both the PS5 and PS5 Digital combined.

The PlayStation 4 sold 30,482 units during those two weeks (with an additional 112 sales of the PS4 Pro), while the PS5 and PS5 Digital combined only reached 23,820. The strength of the previous generation highlights an apparent struggle to keep up with demand for the new console. Still, these numbers pale in comparison to the runaway success of the Nintendo Switch, which sold nearly 600,000 (between Switch and Switch Lite) during that same period.

Here are the Famitsu hardware sales charts for Japan, courtesy of Gematsu. The first number is the sales for the two-week period between December 21, 2020 to January 3, 2021, followed by lifetime sales numbers in parenthesis.

  1. Switch – 467,051 (14,512,967)
  2. Switch Lite – 123,243 (3,139,528)
  3. PlayStation 4 – 30,482 (7,733,236)
  4. PlayStation 5 – 18,129 (214,228)
  5. PlayStation 5 Digital Edition – 5,691 (51,554)
  6. New 2DS LL (including 2DS) – 1,372 (1,151,470)
  7. Xbox Series X – 275 (24,974)
  8. PlayStation 4 Pro – 112 (1,575,530)
  9. Xbox Series S – 64 (6,584)

Nintendo’s success is also reflected in the hardware sales charts, with every single one of the top ten games being a Nintendo title, save for number 8, which was Minecraft. While PlayStation is facing an apparent “brand decline” in Japan, that doesn’t mean its competitor in Microsoft is gaining any traction in the region. Sales of the Xbox Series X only reached 275 while the Series S sold a paltry 64 units.

Given the exceptionally low adoption rate of the PS4’s mid-gen upgrade, these sales charts also make sense of the decision to stop production of the PS4 Pro while keeping one model of PS4 Slim around. Looking at Sony’s PS5 sales numbers right now is potentially a bit misleading with sales inherently limited by stock allotments. The real test will be how the PS5 continues to sell once inventory can match and exceed the demand.

Many analysts expect the Nintendo Switch to remain the dominant platform in 2021, outselling the PS5 and Xbox Series X by year’s end.

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