Photo: Kamil S

By: Nick Gambino

Microsoft announced their Q1 2022 earnings and it looks like they’re outselling every other console on the market in strict dollar numbers. This is due in part to supply chain issues plaguing other companies as well as a few smart moves on Microsoft’s part.

That’s not to say Microsoft hasn’t also run into issues getting the parts they need to make the Xbox Series X or S, but it’s a nondiscriminatory problem. Consoles are going through hell just trying to make it to the assembly line.

Two years into the pandemic and things are still slow going, but perhaps this scarcity is what has boosted sales figures for the three major gaming companies. PlayStation is trailing Xbox but Sony is still putting numbers on the board that are record-breaking in their own right. In fact, they were even leading the pack for part of Q1.

One reason we can attribute to Microsoft outperforming Sony is the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. The monthly pass costs $14.95 and gives you more bang for your buck than the nonexistent subscription Sony currently offers. To be fair, they plan to relaunch PlayStation Plus this June in order to compete.

Let’s not forget Nintendo. The undeniably popular Nintendo Switch is still dominating in terms of units sold. The Switch is cheaper than the PS5 and the Xbox X/S, which might also be a clue as to why they sold more units at a time when consumers appear to be tightening their wallets.

The trepidation of consumers to spend is evident in some bigger figures that have come out in a financial analysis of the gaming industry. Hardware sales across the industry are down 24% since Q1 2021, whole accessories are down 16% and games themselves are down 7%. Put this all together and overall spending in the gaming world is down 8%.

It’s all about context. We’ve spent two years in a global shutdown. If you consider the fact that both the PS5 and the Xbox Series X/S were launched in late 2020 as the world fought for its life, a slight dip in-game spending looks pretty good.