PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series shortages have sent video game sales plummeting over Black Friday and Cyber Monday as shoppers hold off on making purchases for last-gen consoles.
Digital game sales fell 10 per cent year-on-year, including a 13 per cent drop in console games, over what is traditionally one of the most lucrative sales weekends for the sector, according to Superdata.
While PC game sales helped offset this decline, the drop was largely due to the significant number of shoppers still unable to get their hands on a next-gen console after both the Xbox Series X/S and PS5 launches were plagued by scalper groups and website outages.
Gamers are holding off spending money on new games until they are able to get their hands on their new consoles, which for many could not be until next year.
While some PS5 restock is due to be released throughout the day today (December 3), Sony Interactive Entertainment’s head Jim Ryan told Russian news agencies last month that “Everything is sold. Absolutely everything is sold.”
Meanwhile Microsoft said at a conference last month that “huge demand” could cause Xbox shortages to continue into next year.
Both consoles have been remained largely sold out at major retailers across the country since launch, with customers forced to either pay exorbitant prices to resellers online or scramble to secure a console through limited stock releases.
“Despite the lower numbers on Black Friday through Cyber Monday, spending on digital games is growing significantly this holiday season,” Superdata’s principle analyst Carter Rogers said.
“Even individuals who might have bought physical games at brick-and-mortar retailers in a normal year are opting for the convenience and safety of downloading games.”
According to Video Games Chronicle, the PS5 overtook its predecessor to become the fastest selling console in UK history, surpassing 250,000 units over the first 48 hours.