TL;DR: In the US, the Microsoft Xbox Series was the best-selling hardware platform in Q1 2022 in dollars, while the Nintendo Switch led in terms of units sold. Sony’s PlayStation 5 is trailing behind due to its continued availability issues. Meanwhile, overall spending on video games and gaming hardware is down by 8% compared to Q1 2021.
Consoles, just like graphics cards, have been plagued with sketchy availability and insane pricing because of the global chip shortage and scalpers. While the Xbox Series S and the Nintendo Switch have been easier to get for a while now, the PlayStation 5 remains as rare as ever.
Buying an Xbox Series X can still be an ordeal 17 months after its release, but the situation has been improving as the console can sometimes be found at its $500 MSRP at some retailers. As a result, Microsoft’s sales have been soaring, with the Xbox Series X/S bringing in even more money in Q1 2022 than Nintendo’s Switch lineup.
US NPD HW – Xbox Series was the best-selling hardware platform of both March 2022 and the first quarter in dollars, while Switch led both time periods in unit sales.
— Mat Piscatella (@MatPiscatella) April 25, 2022
In terms of units sold, Nintendo still beat Microsoft, probably thanks to the lower price of the Switches combined with their more widespread availability.
Meanwhile, overall gaming hardware sales in the US reached $1.2 billion, a 15% decline compared to Q1 2021. The rising cost of living could be why many people are cutting down on discretionary expenses. Elden Ring continues to be the best-selling game in March, being followed by Gran Turismo 7 and Kirby and the Forgotten Land.
Sony plans to relaunch PlayStation Plus in June to take on Microsoft’s extremely-successful Game Pass. Hopefully, the PlayStation 5 will be more readily available by then.