PlayStation fans across Europe and beyond heavily favour retail for their game purchases, with more than ten million boxed games sold in the console's first ten months on sale.
The figure comes from Global Sales Data's presentation at GI Live: London last month, where the firm's video games consultant Sam Naji took a deeper look at the console's cumulative sales from its launch in November 2020 to the end of August 2021.
GSD tracks full-game boxed sales from 23 countries and digital sales from 49 and covers all the major publishers.
The company found that retail has consistently outsold digital, with 51% more boxed games sold than downloads by the end of August.
November 2020 was the only month where full-game downloads have outperformed retail sales at 950,000 units compared to 840,000. After this, PS5's retail games have consistently outsold digital every month.
And the gap has widened over time. In December 2020, five retail games were sold for every four downloads. By the end of August, this had increased to three boxed games for ever two digital.
In total, 10.14 million boxed games were sold for PS5 between launch and end of August. December, January, June, July and August all saw more than one million games sold within the month.
Meanwhile, 7.51 million digital games were sold during the same period -- and no single month saw more than one million sales.
The highest performing months for digital game sales were December and January at 870,000 each. But this falls short of retail's lowest performing month, with 880,000 sales sold in March.
Given the increasing shift to digital purchases across the industry, Naji offered four factors that may explain why PS5 owners prefer box games to downloads.
Firstly, the high price tag for new PS5 titles -- around $70 -- means consumers prefer to invest in a physical item. This is combined with his second point: that console owners like to build a physical library of games for their new device.
Naji also pointed to the ability to sell and lend boxed games as a factor, before adding that download sales typically favour back catalogue titles. Since the PlayStation 5 is only a year old, there is not an extensive digital catalogue of past releases to choose from.
You can read more about digital sales and the preference for back catalogue games in our full write-up of the GSD presentation, in which the company explored the impact of COVID-19 on both 2020's growth and 2021's muted release slate.
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Elsewhere in the presentation, GSD's senior games analyst Aidan Sakiris compared PS5 software's retail performance to that of Xbox Series X|S.
Sony's console shifted 1.9 million boxed games from January to August 2021, compared to 400,000 Xbox Series X|S games.
Sakiris added that, while all four Sony and Xbox consoles -- PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One -- have helped grow the industry, this has been hindered by a lack of key releases due to COVID-induced delays.