It would appear that Sony and Microsoft might’ve been a bit ahead of their elder generation console sales if only they had the stock. A report from Ampere Analysis tracked unit sales of both the Sony PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X and S and compared to sales of their predecessors. According to their data, Microsoft and Sony sold either around the same or slightly fewer units of their current new gaming consoles than their predecessors in the same period of time after launch.
Sony’s PlayStation 4 had unit sales of approximately 4.2 million units in the first few months after launch. That console launched in November of the year 2013. Fast forward to now, and the Sony suggests they’ve sold 4.5 million units since launch at the tail end of 2020.
Microsoft’s launch is slightly less impressive, with Xbox One sales in the first few months after launch at 2.9 million units back in the last months of 2013 and first of 2014. Microsoft’s Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S sales in the same period here in the last few months racked up around 2.9 million units.
Ampere noted that Microsoft as able to launch in “more than three times” as many markets with Xbox Series X/S as it did with Xbox One. It’s possible and likely that sales of the Xbox Series X/S will surpass those of the Xbox One over time – not accounting for the many iterations of Xbox One that appeared over the years (S and X, for example).
Ampere expects that Sony could sell more than 7.6 million consoles by the end of March 2021. Sony sold approximately 7.5 million units of the PS4 in this same timeframe. It’s possible and likely that PlayStation 5 unit sales will eclipse those of the PS4 over time.
Per the Games Industry post, it would seem likely that both companies would far surpass their previous-gen console sales if not for the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting sales issues.