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Xbox Series X sales fall behind Xbox One in US but PS5 still ahead of PS4

PS5 and Xbox Series X/S
PS5 is the best-selling console in the US once again (Sony/Microsoft/Metro)

The latest US sales charts make clear the changing state of video games, as Ghost Of Tsushima returns to number one thanks to the PC version.

Only a few years ago, almost no useful sales data was released publicly for the US. But while there’s still only a monthly chart, it now paints a much clearer picture of what games and consoles are selling well, in terms of both digital and physical.

May is never a busy month for new releases, but the surprising new number one is Ghost Of Tsushima, which shot up from number 71 in the charts to number one, purely as a result of the release of the PC version.

Consoles sales were down once again for May, but it was still relatively good news for the PlayStation 5, which was once again the best-selling console and is now outpacing the PlayStation 4 again, at the same point in its life cycle. By comparison, the Xbox Series X/S is still being outsold by the seven-year-old Switch, as its sales fell behind the pace set by the Xbox One.

May video game hardware spending was down a massive 40% compared to 2023 (which was buoyed by the launch of Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom) and is down 30% for the year as a whole.

Nevertheless, PlayStation 5 sales are now tracking 8% ahead of the PlayStation 4, for its first 43 months on sale. By comparison, the Xbox Series X/S is 13% behind the Xbox One and ‘slightly’ behind the Xbox 360.

The US is by far Xbox’s biggest market but with sales stagnating even there, it’s unsurprising that Microsoft is looking for other avenues to sell its games, with an increased focus on multiformat releases and support for alternative hardware such as the Amazon Fire Stick.

At the same time, the continued popularity of first party PlayStation games on PC will no doubt encourage more, especially as the success of Helldivers 2 this year is primarily due to the PC version and not the PlayStation 5 edition.

It also seems like high time a sequel to Ghost Of Tsushima should be announced, but although job ads have made it clear it’s underway Sony has never talked about it in public.

However, it’s likely that the actual best-selling game of the month was the remake of Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. Nintendo is one of only a few publishers (2K is the other main one) that doesn’t report its digital sales, so Paper Mario’s number two position is due only to physical sales.

According to NPD’s Mat Piscatella, Ghost Of Tsushima was only ‘slightly’ ahead of Nintendo’s game, so once digital sales are added in it sounds like it would’ve taken the top spot.

There were no other new entries in the top 10 but PC-only game Homeworld 3 debuted at number 14 and F1 24 came in at number 18.

Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door screenshot
Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door – number two on a technicality (Nintendo)

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