After an early 2023 slump, video gaming console sales at Nintendo, Microsoft, and Meta platforms got a boost in the first quarter from strong activity with Sony's PlayStation 5.Total business grew 15% year-over-year in the first quarter to 11.3 million video gaming units shipped to retailers, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.
“Sony Group Corp, single-handedly pulled the segment out of five quarter spiral of year over year declines,” says Neil Barbour, market intelligence analyst at S&P Global Market Intelligence.
Sony’s business grew 208% to 6.5 million units shipped from around 2 million in the first quarter 2022. This was helped by the strong availability in major retailers including Walmart, Target, and Best Buy.
“Sony slowly worked its way through chip shortages and logistics delays and finally uncorked [starting] in the fourth quarter of 2022,” says Barbour.
On the other side of things, Nintendo’ Switch console lost ground -- sinking 25.1% to 3.1 million year over year. Nintendo has said it had no plans to release new hardware until March 2024. “It is likely that Nintendo is simply trying to stay out of Sony's wake as the PS5 finally ramps up shipments.”
Microsoft’ Xbox also
dropped -- 33.2% year-over-year to an estimated 1.2 million units in the first quarter.
“Xbox units have become harder to find at retail as PlayStation units have emerged in force, but Microsoft made no mention of a supply crunch in its earnings materials.”
Meta Platforms’ Quest 2 platform had a steep drop nearly 70% to an estimated
600,000 units, the lowest quarterly shipment count since the device's
launch. In August 2022, Quest 2 had a $100 price increase.