Report: Xbox Series S dominated PS5 and Xbox Series X at retail during Black Friday

Xbox Series S
Xbox Series S (Image credit: Matt Brown | Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Adobe's Digital Economy Index claims that the Xbox Series S has become the dominant console of Black Friday.
  • This is because it's actually available to buy, unlike the PS5 and Xbox Series X.
  • Despite some analyst skepticism about the Xbox Series S, it certainly seems to be holding its own.

While PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X dominate the mindshare when it comes to general console conversation, it turns out that it's actually the runt of the litter that's taking up a lot of the traction. That is, at least according to a report from Business Insider and the Adobe Digital Economy Index, who claim the Xbox Series S is outstripping PS5 and Xbox Series X in early Black Friday projections.

While there are no hard sales figures from Adobe, they say that across the "trillions" of retail site visits, it's the Xbox Series S that is seeing much of the sell-through. And you don't need a degree in economics to work out why.

Thanks to the global chip shortage, silicon to produce cutting-edge hardware like the PS5 and Xbox Series X is simply hard to come by. Microsoft and Sony both are selling through all of their stock of the PS5 and XSX near instantaneously, as soon as they hit shelves. The Xbox Series S by comparison uses less powerful internals, which are easier to source in an economy desperate for chips for anything from electric vehicles to smart toasters.

While the Xbox Series X is obviously the more powerful option, the Xbox Series S can still runs most popular titles launching this year at full 60 FPS, from Call of Duty Vanguard to Halo Infinite, and Xbox Game Pass is the cherry on top that sweetens the deal. If I was a parent looking to buy a younger relative a device to attach to a basic 1080p TV this Christmas, the Xbox Series S is almost always going to be the more obvious choice. This is especially true if they already own a Nintendo Switch, which may be approaching a market saturation point.

As we head deeper into the generation, more and more games are being made for Xbox Series X|S first, too, meaning the Xbox Series S is being utilized to its full potential more frequently than it has been in the earlier half of this year. The Xbox Series S is often cited as a big reason for Xbox's surge in Japan.

Microsoft couldn't possibly have predicted the global chip shortage, which has arisen in part from the surge in retail activity as the world emerges from pandemic-induced lockdowns. But it seems the dual-console play, which initially had analysts confused, could be right on the money.

Grab the new Xbox Series S bundle at GameStop

Grab the new Xbox Series S bundle at GameStop

While Xbox Series X remains impossible to track down, you might be able to score the more affordable Xbox Series S. It plays the same next-generation games as Xbox Series X, albeit better suited to HD gaming, rather than 4K resolution. It's also missing a disc drive, making this perfect for Xbox Game Pass and digital gaming. GameStop has stocked the first Xbox Series S bundle, bundling Fortnite and Rocket League bonuses at no additional cost.

Jez Corden
Co-Managing Editor

Jez Corden is a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by tea. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his XB2 Podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!