South African gamers seem to prefer Sony’s PlayStation over Microsoft’s Xbox, though the games consoles’ distributors have declined to reveal their exact market share.
Statcounter’s console operating system market share in South Africa in the last 12 months Shows PlayStation is currently at 94.54% while Xbox is at 5.6% for July 2022.
This is significantly higher than a MyBroadband poll that showed 53% of South African tech-savvy consumers preferred PlayStation 5 and 37% voted Xbox Series X.
As you would expect, around 5% preferred the Xbox Series S.
MyBroadband reached out to the South African distributors for PlayStation and Xbox to get more accurate market share statistics.
Gamefinity chief executive officer Mario Dos Santos said that although Statcounter’s figures favoured PlayStation, it is inaccurate.
“In our opinion, it’s unlikely that the delta between the platforms can be as wide,” Dos Santos said.
Xbox sales manager Nathaniel Naicker said that Statcounter’s market share is not correct for the current generation of consoles.
“My understanding is that Xbox does not work with Statcounter, and the data published by them is not official Xbox data,” Naicker said.
PlayStation’s dominance over Xbox in South Africa is not surprising, considering the history of the two consoles in the country.
Sony’s original PlayStation was available in South Africa for several years before it was succeeded by the wildly popular PlayStation 2 at the turn of the 20th century.
Microsoft launched the original Xbox console a month later than the PlayStation 2, but it was never released to South Africa.
With 155,000,000 units sold worldwide, the PlayStation 2 would become the best-selling console in gaming history.
The PlayStation brand was well-established in South Africa by the time Microsoft launched the Xbox 360 in South Africa, in 2006.
While South Africans seem to prefer Sony’s consoles, Microsoft’s game subscription service for PC and Xbox has been unbeatable until recently.
Microsoft’s excellent cross-platform support combined with Game Pass for PC could also be why many South African PC gamers do not bother buying an Xbox.
Since most games available to Xbox Game Pass subscribers are also available to PC owners, they are more likely to buy a PlayStation for the exclusive games on Sony’s platform.
In an effort to keep up with Microsoft Sony recently updated its PlayStation Plus subscription services By merging it with PlayStation Now, its game streaming service.
PlayStation Now was Sony’s closest competitor to Xbox Game Pass before the revamp, but Sony never made it available in South Africa.
Sony is better positioned to compete with Game Pass, thanks to the PS Plus subscription that offers South African gamers access almost 400 PS4 and PS5 titles.
South Africans who are not on the PS Plus Deluxe plan have no access to the PlayStation 3 library. They must subscribe to PS Now to be able to play.
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