Both retail data and analysts seem to agree that digital game sales are really popular with Xbox users who prefer that to retail boxed games, and the Niko Partner's senior analyst Daniel Ahmad goes as far as claiming that he "really need to stress how large the digital shares are on Xbox compared to other platforms". For PlayStation 5 gamers, things seems to be different though, and according to a fresh Games Industry report based on a Games Sales Data presentation, boxed games are in fact bigger on PlayStation 5 than digital downloads.
It turns out that for every two digital downloads on PlayStation 5, three physical games are bought, which gives boxed games a clear advantage for Sony's console. The two main reason given for this by the consultant Sam Naji, who held the presentation, was that games are more expensive for PlayStation 5 as Sony raised prices this generation, which makes gamers want physical copies. The second reason is that people like to build a physical library for a new console.
Meanwhile. Xbox gamers seem to continue buying digital games, and the article notes that "Sony's console shifted 1.9 million boxed games from January to August 2021, compared to 400,000 Xbox Series X|S games".