Current gen=/=gen 8, it means the current devices on the market. I cannot recall NPD, Nintendo, Sony or Microsoft ever referring to generations by numbers.
It should be obvious from the language used in the press releases that they are comparing the Switch's LTD sales to the PS4 & XBO, and that the NPD therefore considers the Switch to belong to the same generation as the PS4 & XBO.
This post is a mess. But now I see that your misunderstanding about the Switch comes from a misunderstanding of console history. The short version is that Atari 2600, 5200, and 7800 were 3 different generations.
If that's the case, then we might as well get rid of numbered generations entirely, because there's no way you could split those three into three separate generations and have them make sense, unless you believe that Gen 2 is actually two separate gens, in which case you think either A) everybody's been getting it wrong on the numbers for the post-Crash generations, or B) you think the Pong machines era was either not a generation or was a "Gen Zero."
That's all nice but has nothing to do with generations. A systems's gen is set in stone the moment it releases. Switch came too long after the start of the 8th gen, therefore it's 9th gen. Ps5 and xsx are coming too long after the start of the 9th gen, therefore they will be 10th gen. Eventually everyone will agree on that due to different reasons.
No. Just... no. I mean, Switch the sole Gen 9 console, and Sony & MS skip Gen 9 and go straight to Gen 10? You started this whole off-topic argument, and this ends up being what you expect us to accept? Really? Really?
This is exactly why I consider NPD far more authoritative than the opinions of random forum-dwellers.
You missed the portion in Nintendo's press releases where it's explicitly stated that the statement is according to NPD. If I personally relay information and therefore say that Switch was the best-selling current generation hardware according to NPD, then that isn't at odds with my stance that Switch does not belong to the same generation as the 3DS and the Wii U, because I am merely stating which classification someone else uses.
As for the rest of your long post, logical consistence demands that you call the Dreamcast a generation 5 console, putting it into the same generation as the Saturn. As long as you do not explicitly do that, I won't bother to write a more elaborate response.
At minimum, Nintendo clearly doesn't reject NPD's classifying the Switch as belonging to the same generation as the PS4 & XBO. It's not explicit approval, but it is implicit approval.
And with that, I've said all I care to say about the generations argument in this thread. This is an NPD thread, NPD obviously considers the Switch as being part of the same generation as the PS4 & XBO, and therefore that's what I'm going to have it as in my charts. If any of you have a problem with me including the Switch in Gen 8 in my charts, keep it to yourself from now on. If you want to argue the nuances of generational classifications, save it for another thread dedicated to the topic and @ me.
I never even got around to finishing up my quarterly charts because of this distraction.
Back to Rol. Re: The Dreamcast. Don't be obtuse. You know as well as I do that the Dreamcast's life was cut short. Sega obviously didn't initially release it with the intention of discontinuing it early 2001. The Dreamcast launched only 13 months before the PS2 in NA (it was about 15 months in Japan), and had it had a more normal lifespan it would have been competing directly with the PS2, GC, & Xbox for most of its life and most of that generation. It was clearly intended to compete with next-gen offerings from Nintendo and Sony. And for what it's worth, even though it was discontinued on March 31, 2001, it was still available for sale for a good while after that, and NPD and Famitsu continued tracking it to Dec. '01 and Feb. '02, respectively, making the tracking period for DC sales after the PS2's launch longer than the tracking period before the PS2's launch.
The data I am basing my claims on are numerous.
1. The sales curves of previous Nintendo home consoles and handhelds were influenced by Nintendo's need to support two distinct platforms with top-tier first party software concurrently. This means that Nintendo's top development teams have not been able to provide second half of lifecycle support that was anywhere close to the level of first half of lifecycle support. You can verify this for yourself by checking the release dates of top-selling Nintendo software across the lifecycle of their consoles. The only consistent late life support has been new Pokémon games on their handhelds, but their home consoles have hardly had any megahits see releases during the second half of the lifecycle. (Lifecycle for the purpose of this paragraph refers to the period between launch and the launch of a successor.)
PlayStation sales curves have no relevance here because Sony has never put their top development teams on handhelds like Nintendo has done. That's part of the reason why PS home consoles have experienced no significant changes despite the presence of PS handhelds.
2. Switch is now only one month away from making it a full three years before its first price cut. It will be the first console to accomplish this feat. There are multiple ways in which Switch doesn't line up with previous consoles, that's why it doesn't make sense to apply those old models to extrapolate future sales for Switch. As you already know, Switch continues to see growth whereas all the Nintendo home consoles you have on your graphs had entered their decline phase in the third year already.
Starting with the final paragraph on page 8, Nintendo explains why Switch will have a longer lifecycle than previous Nintendo consoles. Because you've made an appeal to authority (Nintendo themselves) to argue that Switch is generation 8, you now have no choice but to concede to what Nintendo is saying in the above linked document, unless you are fine with being a hypocrite.
The length of the lifecycle is an especially crucial point because you are basing your prediction on the assumption that there's no way that Switch will have more than six years before it's getting replaced. Your thought process for sales extrapolation has proper logic within its contained realm, but the issue is that it is a construct built on fundamental assumptions that are very likely to be false. Too much of it rests on "this is how it was in the past, so that's how it will be in the future" despite Switch having already broken away from the pattern of previous Nintendo home consoles.
Switch is not like the past. One Nintendo console means that all first and third party software gets concentrated on one platform instead of being split. What your historic sales graphs should show you is that consoles with strong software support have softer declines and therefore longer tails. But what you do is look at Nintendo home consoles of the past, take the 17.0m LTD of Switch and do something like 7m in 2020, 6m in 2021, BOOM, DEAD! and arrive at 35m lifetime in the USA. Despite Switch's more robust software support and its long time to get its first price cut, you still apply a late life sales curve that logically shouldn't be considered anymore. Switch is tracking ahead of the PS4 in the USA and there's no good reason to believe that it will fall behind eventually.
Re: #1. The actual overall shape of the sales curves during the generation proper appear to be influenced more by pricing than overall software support (though pricing, software libraries, and other things that help determine overall market share determine the size of the curve). Prior to Gen 7, all consoles peaked by Year 3 and declined steadily after that. It's why generations were shorter on average back then. And it has nothing to do with whether or not a company is supporting a home console and a handheld or just a home console alone.
A system's post-replacement legs do appear to be determined largely by post-replacement support (and by whether or not most of the addressable market has bought a system yet), as we saw with the NES and SNES doing okay post-replacement but the N64 and afterward doing awful, and the PS1 & PS2 having good legs post-replacement (the PS3's were relatively weak, but by the end of 2013 nearly everyone that was going to buy a PS3 had done so, thanks to the late peak). But Nintendo has effectively dropped support for every console from the N64 to the present once they've released a replacement, so we ought not expect Nintendo to do something they haven't done since the SNES, and therefore we ought not expect the Switch to have outstanding post-replacement legs. The Switch will likely sell at least 95% of its lifetime sales by time its replacement is released. That means it'll have to get close to if not surpass 40M by time its successor comes out in order to pass the Wii.
Re: #2. The base model hasn't had a price cut, but there is a less expensive model. Unlike quite a few other hardware revisions in the past (for both Nintendo and non-Nintendo system), it hasn't exactly done wonders as far as stimulating sales (probably since it's inferior to the regular model in nearly every way), but it did have an impact. Sept. 2019 was +43.4% from the previous month (after adjusting for September being a 5-week period), and +66.2% from Sept. 2019, the best month by far for year-over-year growth in 2019. And even with a new hardware revision and a main-series (and hugely successful) Pokemon game, that growth has been slowing. Overall growth in Switch sales in 2019 was nearly identical to what it was in 2018, but if you break it down by quarterly results, we see some interesting data. Essentially all YoY growth in 2018 was in Q4, which was up 32.85% from Q4 2017. In 2019, Q1 was up 20.65%, Q2 was up 16.62%, Q3 was up 27.24% (though the overwhelming majority of that was in September, thanks to the Lite; July+Aug. period sales were up only 5.57%), and Q4 sales were up only 11.6% (November was up only 5.3%, despite Pokemon S&S).
While it's entirely possible that the Switch could keep growing, these results aren't exactly encouraging for continued strong growth. Barring unusual circumstances, once a system experiences a period of strong year-over-year growth like this and that growth starts to slow, it never starts to speed back up later in the system's life. Even the DS saw its YoY improvements diminish steadily over time; granted, it was slow enough to have each year from 2006 to 2009 be bigger than the previous, but the growth continually slowed (and the Switch's growth appears to be slowing much faster than the DS's). But the fact that the general trend (aside from the Sept. 2019 boost from the Lite) has been declines in the size of the YoY gains indicates that those gains will start to evaporate sooner rather than later, and will start to become losses. We'll have to see how things pan out this year to see if that pattern continues or if, as you insist, the Switch does something unprecedented, but I don't count on seeing any statistically significant growth in 2020. It's not impossible, but I really don't see it doing something like 7.5M barring a price cut.
Re #3: Plans don't always go according to plan. I'm sure Nintendo planned on the Wii U being a big hit instead of a flop, but that's not what happened (and I honestly loved the Wii U; I hated seeing it do so poorly). Nintendo may plan on a longer life cycle for the Switch, but come hell or high water the Switch will pass its peak regardless of how well it's supported. You couldn't get a console that was better supported than the PS2, but it peaked in Year 2 and it was downhill from there. It had good legs because of that good support, but once it passed its peak it would never experience any sort of long-term rebound. Once it declined enough, it needed to be replaced. So it goes for all consoles. If the Switch is already significantly (say, >15%) below 2019 in 2021, then I really don't see the it having primary lifespan significantly longer than past Nintendo consoles, regardless of what Nintendo wants. A system can't simply sell at healthy, sustainable levels indefinitely just on will power and good games. It's a matter of maximum addressable audience, and I don't see a Nintendo system in the U.S. selling over 40M units without some sort of periphery demographic like the Wii and DS had. There's only so many people that are willing and able to buy any given system, and eventually you get to a point where enough of those people do buy one that sales start to slow.
40M is an incredibly difficult milestone for any system to pass in the U.S. Even if you give the Switch until, say, March 2024 (a 7-year cycle), that means that to reach 40M then it would realistically have to average about 5.25M per year in that time. Whether or not that's possible is going to hinge on its performance over the next two years. If it fails to produce any substantial YoY growth this year, and if there's any significant decline next year (say, any more than 10%), then 40M is likely out of the question. If it has non-trivial growth this year, then 40M becomes a more distinct possibility. Even then, passing any of the three home consoles that sold more than 40M poses an even bigger obstacle than just the 40M milestone. Realistically, even affording a 7-year cycle for the Switch, to have a chance of passing the Wii, 360, and PS2, that would require an annual average of no less than about 5.7M, 6M, and 6.8M, respectively. Unless it's either up big time this year, or stays flat this year and drops only very modestly in 2021, I don't see it passing the Wii, much less the other two.