Sayem is a writer and critic with over 10 years of experience reporting on the latest technology and video games. He set up a blog at 15, and since then has been seen on VICE, Playboy, Eurogamer and more. He grew up building PCs with his father in a shed, loading copies of Windows off of multiple floppy drives, and since then he's kept on top of the latest PC gaming trends.
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2022 has been a staggering year for gaming thus far, and with every company under the sun has made their annual calls this year, we thought to do some digging on our home turf: Great Britain. The public’s demand for games went up over the pandemic, turning to entertainment while a lot of the public were all shored up inside making bread and spending far too much time doing Yoga. A few years on, the industry has now ushered in a new generation of consoles and devices, and we’ve got exclusive comments from Nick Hayden, Head of Gaming at Currys about exactly what things the average punters are buying.
In late 2021 we saw the arrival of the Nintendo Switch OLED, which featured a revised console design, in addition to a brand-new OLED screen. However, with rumours heavily suggesting ahead of its reveal that we might be seeing a revised Nintendo Switch in the works, it was subject to a fairly lukewarm reception. This was due to the fact that the Nintendo Switch OLED did not revise or power up the console’s silicon in any way. If you purchased a Switch in 2017 and then bought the Switch OLED in 2021, there would be no difference in performance whatsoever. However, this has not been a deterrent against the Switch itself, according to Hayden.
Latest figures show that the Nintendo Switch remains the best-selling console of the moment and we know it has been the customer’s choice for the past two yearsNick Hayden, Head of Gaming at Currys
‘Latest figures show that the Nintendo Switch remains the best-selling console of the moment and we know it has been the customer’s choice for the past two years.’
Despite ageing hardware, The Nintendo Switch continues to be the best-selling games console at Currys, but Hayden explains the reasons why the console is still selling well, despite consumer demands for a more powerful system. ‘The games catalogue has been a key reason for the sustained growth and with great launches almost every month.’ But, despite all of the new releases such as Pokemon Legends: Arceus, the best-selling game at Currys this year isn’t that, or anything new, but Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Mario Kart 8 was originally released on Wii U in 2014, but found a new lease of life on Switch, and is even getting more tracks added later this year.
The Playstation 5 has been subject to the chip shortage, and extremely high consumer demand. This has meant that pretty much as soon as the PS5 comes into stock, it disappears fairly quickly. Nick Hayden however claims that ‘The PS5 is Currys’ fastest-growing console and is set to be 2022’s biggest console.’ If you go by our handy restock tracker, the PS5 is incredibly difficult to find, even almost two years into its lifespan.
According to their comment, the PS5 will take the crown from the Nintendo Switch, as stock drops ‘continue to be regular’ a the high-street retailer. They still expect the console to sell out quickly, but that the volumes might just push the PS5 over the line and overtake the Switch. But, despite consumer demand, 2022 has still been a relatively quiet year over at Sony, with the best-selling game at Currys for the platform being Gran Turismo 7.
As stock levels stabilise and third parties begin to release more titles during the Holiday Season, the PS5 could see an additional surge in sales and software.
Xbox Series S / X
Microsoft came out swinging at the start of the generation with multiple SKUs at different price points to play the latest games. With a compelling proposition in the form of Xbox Game Pass, gamers are able to purchase the console and get access to the latest games as a part of their subscription service. ‘Stock for XBOX Series X at Currys is increasing and from June, will resume to a steady supply in stores and online.’ Stated Nick Hayden. This comes paired with an additional comment that demand for the Series X has ‘been strong’. With the Xbox Series S in stock since March 2022, it seems like Microsoft might be having a slightly easier time keeping their console in stock, in comparison to Sony.
However, the software side of things looks a bit different for Microsoft. Since Game Pass allows users to play any first-party title on day one without having to pay anything extra, the best-selling game on Xbox isn’t a first-party title, but instead a third-party title, Bandai Namco’s Elden Ring. This is the only console that does not have a first-party bestseller, but that doesn’t mean that Microsoft is putting any feet wrong, just that Game Pass is probably doing pretty well for them right now.
We’re still yet to see 2022’s biggest games
With the first half of the year approaching incredibly fast, we’ve still not seen this year’s biggest games, which are usually released around September to December. Since there have been a number of high-profile delays in the form of God of War: Ragnarok, in addition to other titles like Starfield, the new consoles might be looking a bit barren right now. However, we’re just around the corner from a season of summer announcements, which usually start around the first week of June and onwards. Only Nintendo appears to have fleshed out its software slate for the year. With huge gaps in the release calendar, we’re expecting to see a handful more AAA titles pop up with release dates for this holiday season, otherwise, 2022 might not be looking too healthy when it comes to new titles, which we are certain is not going to happen.
Stock is beginning to stabilise
With stock for various consoles starting to stick around for longer, and the Playstation 5 resale market beginning to dwindle down as more people manage to get their hands on them, the stock is sticking around for a bit longer, and scalpers have less of a reason to overcharge for consoles. The resale market has bottomed out on the Xbox Series consoles, and the Playstation 5 remains to be the final bastion for scalpers. The reality is that they are still selling out within seconds, so we can only hope that a regular flow of stock begins to flow through ahead of the holiday period. There is no doubt that as the holidays begin to ramp up and titles like Forspoken begin to release, demand for the PS5 in addition to everything else will also spike, meaning that the consoles could be much more difficult to obtain.