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PS5 outsells Xbox Series X 4:1 in Europe reveals European Commission

PS5 outsells Xbox Series X 4:1 in Europe reveals European Commission
Europe only has eyes for PlayStation (pic: Sony)

The latest revelation from the Activision Blizzard acquisition is how badly the Xbox is doing in Europe… which may help Microsoft’s case.

Although Microsoft has been in the console business now for over 20 years they’ve always struggled to find success outside of the US and UK. Japan has always been uninterested, with an early boost in Xbox Series X/S sales due solely to the unavailability of the PlayStation 5 , but continental Europe has also never really been on board.

PlayStation and Nintendo has always been more popular in most European countries, even those where the PC is the dominant gaming format, and according to European monopoly regulators current sales are currently 4:1 in favour of PlayStation.

‘An important finding was that the overall market share for Microsoft and Activision was generally low in Europe,’ said regulators. ‘It’s only when you look at specific segments like ‘shooter games’ that you get to above 20%. And for consoles, Sony sells about four times more PlayStations than Microsoft sells Xboxes.’

As has been the case all along the comments are an odd mixture of interesting revelations, well-known facts, and strange statements that make you wonder whether the people involved have any real idea what they’re talking about.

If Call Of Duty games (which is almost all Activision publishes) have been selling poorly in Europe all this time, this is the first anyone’s ever said about it. If the regulators mean Activision Blizzard as a whole that would be even more surprising, as Blizzard’s PC-focused line-up seems like it would be especially popular on the continent.

The full keynote speech is now online and continues with the following statement: ‘With this context, we did not think the merger raised a vertical issue. I am told Call of Duty is a very popular shooter franchise, but we found that Microsoft would probably not shoot itself in the foot by stopping sales of Call Of Duty games to the much larger PlayStation player-base. Our colleagues at the CMA agreed with us and ultimately reached the same conclusion.’

Although the general ratio is not a huge surprise, the fact that Microsoft refuses to reveal Xbox hardware sales figures (because it’s embarrassed they’re much lower than PlayStation) means no one is ever quite sure how well it’s doing.

The comments from the European regulators are clearly not very precise but they do give at least a rough idea of where the two rivals sit. It also paints Xbox as the underdog, which is how they’ve been trying to appear all along and explains why US and UK regulators – from the only two countries where the Xbox sells well – are also the only two to be sceptical of the acquisition.

Traditionally, the Xbox and PlayStation are usually neck and neck in the US, while the UK is closer to 3:2, in favour of PlayStation.

After the failure of the Xbox One, though, it’s unclear how much those ratios have shifted, even though the Xbox Series X/S has performed better.

The only thing that’s known for certain is that, worldwide, the Xbox Series X/S has sold 18.5 million consoles as of the end of 2022 and the PlayStation 5 over 30 million by the end of January. That creates a ratio of almost 2:1 in Sony’s favour.

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MORE : Xbox trolls Sony by showing how many PlayStation Showcase games are multiformat

MORE : China approves Xbox acquisition of Activision Blizzard as pressure builds on CMA

MORE : Xbox considers games with ads and paid demos as well as Game Pass

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