The PS4 and PS5 were India’s best-selling consoles in the month of June 2021. This was due to Sony finally sorting out its supply chain issues to ensure that demand was met. Also there were no Xbox Series X restocks and extremely limited Xbox Series S units making it to stores in the country. While it’s no surprise that the PS4 followed by the PS5 were India’s biggest sellers, what’s confounding is Microsoft’s inability to get the Xbox Series X and Series S to retailers across the country. Sources at retail and the supply chain speaking to IGN India echo the sentiment.
“We had forecasted that Xbox Series X would be 20 percent of our top-line revenue in June,” says one game store owner to IGN India on condition of anonymity. “That obviously didn’t happen and we didn’t meet our sales targets at all. Though it would have been far worse if we didn’t get a PS5 restock from Sony.”
The lack of Xbox Series X availability has plagued retail since mid-May, with the likes of Flipkart and Amazon receiving a scant few Xbox Series X units in June. Naturally, we reached out to Microsoft India for comment.
“No news from our front on this,” the company tells us over email.
A cursory check with most Indian retailers confirms this. Amazon, Flipkart, Games The Shop, and even Prepaid Gamer Card — a Bengaluru-based retailer that’s known in the gaming community for being exceptionally prompt on Xbox Series X|S restocks has the Series X listed for an October return. It’s quite likely a placeholder date. Hopefully Microsoft sorts out its issues before that.
Sources in the supply chain tell us that that the reason for the lack of Xbox Series X and S restocks in India has to do with the ongoing covid-19 pandemic. Xbox India distributor, Redington had a covid-19 outbreak in its main warehouse in Chennai those familiar with the situation tell us. This has delayed distribution of Xbox Series X and S to a large degree.
Until these issues get resolved, Sony appears to have gained the upper hand. Sales staff at retail tell us that while Xbox Game Pass was a major reason for customers to jump on the Xbox Series S, ongoing discounts on PS4 and PS5 games more than make up for the lack of a competing subscription service from Sony to turn the tide. Frequent discounts as well on staples like FIFA 21 and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla for the PS4 and PS5 have cemented sales on Sony’s consoles.
“Customers have come in asking for Xbox Series S or X as well as Game Pass,” says one sales executive. “But when we explain what they get with a PS4 bundle and what PlayStation Plus is, they more often than not are willing to go with that. A large part of this is because we don’t even know when the Series S or X is coming back in stock.”
July is most likely to be more of the same thanks to steady restocks of both PS4 and PS5 from Sony. For all of Microsoft’s talk of democratising gaming, the fact that it can’t get its consoles on shelves is perplexing. More so when you consider India got the Xbox Series X and S at the same time as the rest of the world. Both have sold incredibly well in India in the last couple of months, with the Xbox Series S being the best-selling console in India in March and April.