It’s hard to explain how this happened during a component shortage, but Xbox just had a record month for console sales in the United States.
“June 2021 consumer spending across video game hardware, content and accessories grew 5 percent when compared to a year ago, totaling $4.9 billion,” NPD’s Matt Piscatella tweeted. “First half 2021 consumer spending reached $28.9 billion, a 15 percent increase when compared to the same period in 2020.”
Those are impressive numbers. But when you look at Xbox hardware specifically, you see something even more interesting: Microsoft’s console business delivered 112 percent year-over-year revenue growth to $401 million, a record for the company. The console’s previous revenue high occurred in June 2011.
Yes, that figure places Xbox well below the Nintendo Switch, which generated $4.3 billion in hardware sales (and YOY growth of just 3 percent). But it’s also well ahead of Sony PlayStation, which earned $207 million in revenues in June, a decline of 1 percent YOY.
Of course, hardware is only a small component of the videogame industry’s total revenues: Content (meaning games plus downloadable content, subscriptions, and the like) accounted for $25.4 billion in revenues in the first half of 2021, compared to just $2.3 billion for hardware and $1.2 billion for accessories.
But we’ll take any victory we can get. And while both Sony and Microsoft are clearly suffering from component shortages and could sell many more consoles otherwise, Sony, for now, seems to be taking the brunt of it. At least in the United States.