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Xbox Series X|S reportedly passes PS5 in UK's April sales, Nintendo Switch retains the top spot

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

What you need to know

  • The monthly sales charts for consoles, accessories, and games for April, 2021 in the UK have been broken down.
  • According to the report, the Xbox Series X|S duo comfortably passed the PS5 amidst its lagging supply.
  • The Nintendo Switch retained its top spot, however, where it continues to dominate console sales.
  • The Xbox Wireless Controller also beat out the PS5 DualSense for best-selling controller in the UK.

The latest sales data for game consoles, video games, and console accessories for the United Kingdom for the month of April, 2021 has been broken down courtesy of GamesIndustry.biz. which gives us some insight into the state of the market right now. Most notably, according to the report, the Nintendo Switch continues to dominate the sales chart relentlessly. It retains its number one spot out of over 90,000 consoles sold in the UK over the four-week period. On the other hand, the PS5 actually fell several spots due to a severe drop in supply, even being bested by the aging PS4 group of consoles.

The Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S saw the opposite result in April, as additional supply made them the second best-selling consoles behind the Switch. Reports have shown that the Switch and PS5 have been mostly neck-in-neck for sales throughout 2021, but GamesIndustry.biz mentions that the Xbox Series X|S are "fast catching up."

This effect also translated to accessory sales, as the new Xbox Wireless Controller (specifically the Carbon Black coloration) was the best-selling controller of April in the UK, with the PS5's DualSense being pushed to the second spot. Interestingly, increased PS4 sales pushed the DualShock 4 up a full fifteen places to number five on the list.

It's always interesting to see what people are buying, but overall supply plays a huge role in the success of consoles and accessories. Both the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S have been hit with continued supply shortages, which are likely to persist for quite a bit longer. These shortages have made the consoles frustratingly difficult to find, leading to Microsoft implementing a Console Purchase Pilot Program for dedicated Xbox fans still looking for their own next-gen console.

In slightly happier news, Xbox and Halo are celebrating their 20 year anniversary in 2021, and they want fans to come along for the six-month ride. Show your love for Xbox by playing some of the best Xbox games, and watch Windows Central for all the news heading to players in 2021.

Zachary Boddy
News Writer, Minecraft Expert

Zachary Boddy is the Minecraft Expert and a News Writer for Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life, and have been freelancing for Windows Central and its sister sites since 2019, with a focus on Xbox and PC gaming. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.

40 Comments
  • Availability, that is all I am sure.
  • www(dot)windowscentral(dot)com/windows-phone-sales-explode-europe-gain-us-pass-iphone-italy "Windows Phone sales explode in Europe, gain in the US, and pass the iPhone in Italy" - 4 Nov 2013 I'm expecting 20-24m units over the first 4 years, below original Xbox numbers. (2001-2005) The switch is doing great, selling a half million a week now... probably 30m units this year alone.
  • Bro go find something else to do instead of ******** on MS everywhere you can in this comment section. This is seriously just pathetic.
  • Wow, negative... I'm happy the Xbox is doing well!
  • Negative right? Xbox doing well must only mean it's because of supply issues lol!
  • Xbox Series X/S is trailing Xbox One sales, although there is some supply constraints on X. Microsoft is losing market share and have been for 10 years, no its not doing well. Its been a slow grind down for 10 years. Nintendo is cleaning house, Sony continues to pick up market share on a slow grind. Microsoft has basically gone back to original Xbox numbers 4-6m units the last few years, and that trend seems to be continuing. Xbox numbers were never really good, they were okay for about 2 years during the Xbox 360 (2010/2011), slow grind down since that time. Satya is going to have to write many more checks.
  • Why can't Series numbers be due to 'supply' issues as well? I've not been able to get a Series X and I've been trying hard. The fact is there is nothing to be inferred from the present situation because both new consoles are supply constrained. That is the correct explanation.
  • You can get a S, just not necessarily a X. (some what constrained) The problem isn't these numbers its just all the numbers for 10 years, they continue to release SKUs (not sure why they have so many, Xbox One stuff was crazy)... not sure why... but none of them sold. The S was stupid but it is what it is. Sony continues to slowly grind market share whether we're talking PS5 or PS4.... Nintendo continues to print money. Basically, out of 20 years, there has only been 2 okay to good years of sales i.e. 2010 and 2011 with about 13-14m units. Xbox exists due to Microsoft writing massive checks.
  • You seem bent on wanting MSFT to fail no matter what.
  • Nah, they do that on their own in the consumer space. LOL Spotify/Pandora -> Groove Music (formerly Xbox Music, formerly Zune Music)
    Steam/Gog -> Games for Windows formerly Games for Windows Live/MS Store
    iPhone/Android Phones -> Windows Phone
    iPad/Android Tablets/Amazon Fire -> Windows Tablets
    Twitch -> Mixxer
    PS/Nintendo Consoles -> Xbox
    Youtube -> MS Soapbox
    iPod -> Zune
    Fitbit/Apple Watch -> MS Band Stating the obvious isn't that big a deal. I don't have to want or wish for them to fail, as that will happen on its own.
  • From this list, you can call 80% of the products you claim are "winners" as failures. Spotify -> Pandora. Android phones -> iPhones. Apple Watch -> Fitbit. iPad -> all other tablets. Tell me, how is iCloud doing? iWork? The Apple Console? The Homepod? Your inability to view the world as nothing more than black and white is fascinating to me,.
  • Series X is hard to get but have you noticed the scalper prices are down to the $600 range?
    And you can actually order a Series S at list at the MS site.
    Plus there's the new Pilot program.
    (I got one for my sister. The thing is impressive.) Don't knock availability; it's not just dumb luck. Good planning also factors in.
  • Do you have any source for the Series S/X trailing behind the One?
  • Actually, my mistake... the XSXS has now slightly regained on Xbone sales. see vgchartz Actually what people don't realize is the Xbone actually had decent sales its first 9-12 months.... way above Xbox 360 and original Xbox sales. Its been a steady decline since then.... now they are rerunning the failed Xbox 360 strategy by eliminating the old box early... in this case they stopped manufacturing of the Xbone last July.
  • VG Chartzs doesn't accurately follow console sales.
  • All of their stats conform with statista consumer numbers, and the competition doesn't hide their numbers.
  • Lol i was waiting for your source... i knew it was vgc... been a member for 15 years their global numbers on console sales have been off for almost a decade... the website has been in bad shape for a long time the owner was (is?) Completely absent... I use to moderate the forums and write content at some point... the thing is you might be wright, market shares might be diminishing but the business is growing so it's anything but declining... that metric alone is not enough... since the market is growing... so yeah MS is doing fine especially since xbox is not just about home consoles.... fact is even if you were right you are still wrong with your conclusion....
  • Statistica has the numbers too but you have to be a subscriber. "been a member for 15 years their global numbers on console sales have been off for almost a decade" If nobody has the numbers how can you say that? LOL The reason why MS hides the numbers is their own shareholder have been calling for Xbox to go away for about 10 years. Statista has good numbers and the vgchartz data is right in line with that, which is right in line with what the other two disclose on a regular basis. www(dot)statista(dot)com/statistics/1005403/global-xbox-one-console-unit-sales/ The last few years Xbox is only moving about 3m units per year, this half the rate of the original Xbox...which was not a seller. The lie was the Xbone had a bad launch and Microsoft has been doing better. The truth is... the Xbone had a okayish launch and has steadily gone down... Microsoft is not recovering... they are still in decline. The other lie is they don't need console sales, well, they sure in the hell release a bunch of SKUs for someone not wanting to sell hardware. "market shares might be diminishing but the business is growing so it's anything but declining" So they are doing another redo, rebuild, relaunch of the Store because of success? Where are they growing the business? They have continuously changed the business model because of failure. The console market appears to be growing so the market share has steadily declined instead of fallen off a cliff. "so yeah MS is doing fine especially since xbox is not just about home consoles" Xbox is just a name, but a name doesn't sell products. What products are selling? If Xbox is doing fine, how is that measured? Especially against competition. PC gamers have always hated Microsoft, the original Xbox users 2001-2011 have been abandoning Xbox. Where to now? The MS store is junk, just like GFWL was junk. So where is this growth coming from? They're setting you up to be disappointed, again, imo. (see last 20 years of Microsoft consumer products) Microsoft doesn't give numbers as they hide the losers. Microsoft is saying Google and Amazon are the competition, which have almost no gaming business outside of mobile. Have Microsoft disclose the last 20 years of Xbox financials and shareholder will probably say what the hell.
  • I have both the PS5 and a Series X, I spend much more time on the Series X than the PS5. It has been weeks since I've even turned the PS5 on. I think the Series X will be fine in the long run.
  • Availability isn't just dumb luck.
    Supply of parts is key and XBOX has three advantages: the Anaconda GPU runs at significant slower top speed, the SOC uses slower (cheaper) chips, and the Lockhart chip GPU runs significantly slower than both the top boxes and is much smaller. All tbose things lead to more chips per wafer, aka, higher yields.
    (Remember Bloomberg last year saying Sony yields were lower than expected?) Console builders buy full wafers so availability of critical parts is a function of yield % so by using less aggresive component specs, MS is more likely to get higher yields. Higher chip yields leads to higher availability so in a market constrained by supply, the sales will go to whichever system is available. With six months data to offset the FUD floating around it is clear that the XBOXes can run the newest games at least as well as the competition and thanks to MS investing heavily on BC the platform has way more games that exploit the new hardware. On top of availability of boxes and enhanced games, MS has been generating regular buzz buying studios, steady enhancements, and speculation of coming games. (Sony's buzz is...less positive. And for now we'll politely ignore how Sony just Osbourned themselves by revealing they need to redesign the PS5 ASAP. Look up Osbourne Effect.) And atop all that, MS has GAMEPASS and All Access. Neither company's launch has gone according to plan but MS is running closer to plan. Sony has the early installed base lead but it's not clear how long they'll keep it.
  • The Switch's launch couldn't have gone much better, the PS5 is actually selling at a higher rate.... even with the hardware shortages. "And atop all that, MS has GAMEPASS and All Access." Microsoft has lost considerable market share since Game Pass was released in the hardware sales, and from not a high level. Game pass ads are not reality to actual sales or are disconnected from what people post on sites. Market share continues to shrink at a steady clip, the Xbox Series S should never be in stock anywhere as Microsoft stopped manufacturer Xbox One (Pros) about 9 months ago. There are still Xbox One sales but those boxes are actually getting harder to find. Market share is still being lost at a steady rate as people are still buying a good portion of PS4s. Microsoft tried to do the Xbox 360 strategy like when they stopped original Xbox manufacturing very early. ------> The reality is... what they have been doing isn't really working. <------ Of course, if you listen to Phil... Sony and Nintendo are not even competitors. If you can't even identify the competition, what are the chances you can defeat them? The middleman strategy isn't going to work, PC gamers hate Microsoft.... the ones that bought into the early days of Xbox 2001-2011 are abandoning them (steady market share loses) At this point their best chance is to transition into a normal large game publishers (EA, Activision, Take Two, Ubisoft, etc.), imo.
  • The big Anaconda GPU is bad for production, it's way bigger then PS5's. The clockspeed doesn't change a thing because RDNA2 GPUs can easily achieve high clockspeeds, they cam easily even go beyond 2.6Ghz, if it was a problem you would have seen lower tier GPUs with lower clockspeed from AMD.
    Lockhart's GPU is very small though and that's great for production. Sony redesigning the APU is great, if MS is not doing that, then it's a bad sign.
  • Size alone doesn't determine wafer yields; it determines the number of *potential* usable chips but the chip's reliability at peak clock has the final say; that is why chip sorting exists. If MS isn't looking at redoing ANACONDA it is because they're happy with it.
    (And Sony's redesign isn't just about moving the SOC from 7nm to 6nm. Have you watched the teardown videos for all three boxes? Check them out MS experience with tablets and laptops shines through.) Don't forget, ANACONDA is going into the xCLOUD servers and is designed with server features. Size isn't as important as clock rate for yields, given the spares designed into it. The chips may be bigger but stressed less so the wafer will yield more good chips because of the lower clocks than it would at 2+.. It might wash out or even tilt in ANACONDA's favor. After all, Sony has proven tbe process produces enough good chips at 2GHz+ to be commercially viable so MS staying at 1.8 was a choice, not a forced limitation. LIONHEART has both the small size and even lower clock working for it so once the production of high end boxes stabilizes MS can boost LIONHEART production big time. Which is what Spencer has said: long term, SS will be the top seller. Having lived with one for two weeks to configure it for my sister, I can see why. Once SSD prices come down, MS can double storage and maintain the prices without a redesign because the SS uses an off the shelf SSD. If anything, the availability bottleneck has hampered the SS strategy.
  • Clockspeed is more important if it's too high, that isn't the case with the PS5, the PS5 is actually very low for an RDNA2 GPU, it's just that Anaconda is even lower. SONY is moving from 7nm to 6nm because it allows them to make more APUs, that's it, the console is well built and it's very cool, if Microsoft isn't moving from 7nm to 6nm it must mean that they don't expect this stock problem to last enough to spend the R&D on It, I mean why else they wouldn't move to 6nm? I didn't say that 1.8 GHz on Anaconda wasn't a choice, they decided to go wider but slower probably because it's going to XCloud Servers, that has its advantages and disadvantages.
  • Are you crazy? The Playstation 5 is the fastest selling console at launch... ever. And that is WITH supply constraints. Playstation will keep their lead because the PS5 actually has games. The Series has none, zilch. its advantage is faster load times (which are incredible and I wouldn't trade for the World) but for people who don't mind waiting a minute for their game to load there is absolutely no reason for someone to upgrade to the Series S or X right now. All Microsoft has been doing is buying up game companies for years and still has literally NOTHING to show for it. What major game has come from a Microsoft acquisition in the last 3 years? In fact a perfect example is the Forza series (which is obviously an older acquisition but anyway) the mainline series was released biyearly up until 2017, Horizon was biyearly up until 2018. What did we get in 2019? Forza Street. One of Microsoft's ridiculous micro transaction cash grabs. They get a pass for last year for obvious reasons, but the fact that we got nothing in 2019 and there is next to no information about Forza Motorsport coming this year, I don't have my hopes up. It's bizarre because of all the acquisitions that Microsoft has picked up but from a consumer point of view, someone who is playing games, if you look at what is coming out of the Microsoft camp you would almost think they hadn't bought up any developers.
  • Not zero unless you are talking about console only. Then again, you can't really talk about the console only when MS doesn't care about just the console. Go play on PC if you wish, they get paid regardless. Remember The Medium? It's okay, most people don't. I know it wasn't a 1st party game, but it was console exclusive (not that I care about that).
  • Yeah, I'm a console gamer, not PC, mainly because I spent a fortune on a PC specifically for work and I couldn't justify buying another one for play. I also specifically chose not to include The Medium because, like you said, it's not by a developer owned by Microsoft (great game though).
  • Buy I thought Microsoft didn't care about sales of consoles?
  • They don't.
    But developers do.
    And xCloud won't be streaming just PC games; so more consoles means more games for streaming as well as more candidates for console GAMEPLAY. MS doesn't need to have the largest console installed base to have the largest revenue and profits.
    But more boxes is still a good thing.
  • Nobody cares about game streaming. A person could stream 600-800 games on PS Now for years, or use GeForce for PC. Or use their own computer or console for streaming. Nobody cares. So... everyone was leaving Xbox during 2014-2020 because of game streaming? Game streaming has been around for a long time now, I have no idea why anyone would copy that product. At least copying an iPhone makes sense, that sells.... game streaming doesn't.
  • I care about game streaming and guess what, I would have gladly paid for PS Now years ago if Sony bothered to provide it in my country, they didn't. XCloud is available to me though and I play it regularly on commutes. I'm specifically playing Code Vein on there as a testament to the quality of the connection, if I can manage to play a game like that on streaming then it's a viable gaming platform. The only thing I want is for Microsoft to get the Australian service out of Beta and provide the full list of games available elsewhere to me, there are so many games on xCloud that I want to play on the go but I can't yet.
  • What game will make the people buy Series S/X?? Still no console exclusives..
  • Have you looked at the list of 120HZ games on X|S?
    https://www.windowscentral.com/list-xbox-series-x-and-s-games-120-fps-su... Closing in on 100.
    PS5 has 11 of which only one is PS5 exclusive, the rest are cross platform. FPS boost to 120 and Auto HDR makes a lot of games XBOX exclusive. And MASS EFFECT LEGENDARY won't be the last game to do 4K/120 on SX vs 4K/60 (or less) elsewhere. Those 12TF aren't going to go to waste. Have no fear, XBOX owners have plenty of games that exploit their hardware to keep them busy until the big exclusives show up. (STARFIELD and HALO, for starters.) Wait until E3 to see what the pipeline has to show off.
  • These are great features, but supportive ones, additional features.. I'm a One X user, fast loading times, FPS boost and Auto HDR definitely attracts me but I'd like to have a new experience with the new console with a total next gen title.. Starting a game from scratch, feeling surprised by it, being curious about it.. I understand where Xbox is coming from but a similar UI, similar controller, previous gen games with improvements (though they're major improvements and I appreciate it) don't make me want to buy the Series consoles.. Playing the current titles with better resolution and fps is a selling point in mid-generation (like One X and I'm still happy with it) but for a new generation, unfortunately it's not enough..at least for me.. Believe me I want them to bring these exclusives because I am planning to get Series X.. I just need to see them and they should make me excited.. I guess that's fair to ask as a consumer.. And I do hope that they keep bringing keyboard and mouse support for those first party titles just like they did with Halo..
  • Nothing is really known about Starfield, at best its a couple of years out. It could be cross play game and even one released on other consoles. Halo is cross play with Xbone, and I would probably put the Xbox Series S into the weak sauce category. Sony has a mix of cross-play and in 2022 probably the vast major will be PS5 target. Even things like Spiderman MM or Spiderman Remastered are not really cross play per se, its not just a FR/resolution/HDR bumps but things like raytracing/lighting/3d sound, etc. - Demon's Souls
    - Destruction AllStars
    - Returnal
    - Ratchet and Clank Rift Apart (end of May)
    - Deathloop (Fall 2021) Horizon Forbidden West (probably Q3/4 2021), this will be a cross-play title but chances are things like raytracing and their new 3d audio tech will be used. The one title which is an unknown is new God of War, probably a late 2021 or 2022. GT7 will be PS5 only, its been pushed to early 2022. The one title that Xbox Series X/S will get that is next gen is Ghostwire: Tokyo, but this is a timed exclusive on PS5 first. Looks like a Fall 2021 release. In 2022, most the games coming out will target PS5. Sony said they would like to support PS4 till 2022. GG and Santa Monica Studio have expanded the studios to work 2 games at a time, the unknown is Naughty Dog (plus The Last of Us 2 MP), and San Diego Studio. And whether or not Bluepoint is working on a PS5 exclusive. You can expect 2-4 big Sony titles for PS5 exclusives a year, and 1-2 small PS5 exclusives a year. Same as what they did with PS4, nothing seems to be stopping this train. Of course, Sony isn't the competition... supposedly. My guess... the keep saying this Xbox hardware stuff for about another 12-15 months, if market share continues to decline. They will start to announce more of their 1st party titles on other platforms (Steam, PS, Switch, etc.) i.e. become a traditional game publisher like EA, Ubisoft, Take Two, etc. They are going to have to go where the customers are... naively playing on other platforms.
  • Sony's 3d audio technology isn't near as good as Atmos. The PS5 only supports Atmos when watching blurays. There are no games on the PS5 that support Atmos. That is why I play most everything on the Series X. I'm running a 5.2.4 atmos system that the Series X uses to it's full potential. On the PS5 my system is just 5.1 when gaming on it.
  • www(dot)cnet(dot)com/news/sonys-ps5-3d-audio-brings-the-spatial-in-resident-evil-village-and-returnal/ That isn't what people have been saying about returnal and other games including developers. Of course, I'm not trying to sell you on anything, if you like Xbox more... that's cool. Either way this isn't working on the consumers.
  • And all you need for that experience is to buy Sony headphones, so no one else can hear how amazing the audio is (3D audio is fantastic, but it's not exactly new and it does require headphones for the proper effect). At least with Dolby Atmos a family can enjoy it.
  • Just pointing out that Deathloop is a timed exclusive also. Also just because a game has ray tracing and 3D audio on the PS5 doesn't change the fact that it's still a cross generation game. If it's available on both, it's cross generation and there are still going to be plenty of those in the next couple of years. Not as many from Sony themselves because they need people to buy their console, but certainly from third parties.
  • In the end, people play whatever they like. I don't have an Xbox or a PS but a PC. If I have a choice for console, I'll choose PlayStation because of their exclusive titles.