The lack of new stock for the PS5 last month meant it was only the fourth highest selling console of the month, while New Pokémon Snap the biggest new game.
The pandemic restrictions may be lessening in the UK but it is going to be a long, long time until the video games industry is back to normal.
The PlayStation 5 probably would have had stock problems whatever happened but its limited availability also affects game sales, with the lack of new stock in April not helping new release Returnal.
According to chart tracker GfK the Nintendo Switch was the best-selling console by a large margin, with the Xbox Series X and S in second place.
The PlayStation 4 was the third best seller and the PlayStation 5 was forced into fourth place, simply because there wasn’t any stock to sell.
That situation will change this month as Amazon, GAME, and most other UK retailers will be getting one of their biggest delivers of PlayStation 5 consoles so far.
Over 90,000 consoles were sold in the UK during April, but that’s a drop of over 59% compared to 2020 – when the lockdown was still new and people needed something to do at home.
UK physical sales chart – April 2021
According to GamesIndustry.biz, Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 5 sales are currently neck-and-neck for 2021, with Xbox Series X/S quickly catching up. That implies that both next gen consoles would have outsold the Switch if the stock allowed for it.
Despite their own stock issues, caused by the worldwide semiconductor shortage, Nintendo is certainly taking advantage of the situation with almost exactly a third (32.5%) of all physical game sales in the UK being for Nintendo first party titles. Add in third party games and that rises to 49.6%.
To give an indication of just how well they’re doing, New Pokémon Snap was only available for two days (GfK’s reporting period also includes May 1) and yet was still the number one selling physical game during April.
Although digital sales are not reported for weekly UK sales, they are added in to the monthly sales charts compiled by GSD. Nintendo don’t provide digital sales figures though, so the picture is still incomplete.
That means it’s impossible to tell whether New Pokémon Snap was the actual best-selling game during April, as without its digital sales figures it only charted at number four – with Grand Theft Auto 5 at number one.
UK physical + digital sales chart – April 2021
*digital sales not included
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