Forums - Sales Discussion - August NPD 2020: Switch 504k, PS4 197k, XBO 45k

src said:
Kai_Mao said:

Might as well say XB1 has been supply constrained ever since it released in Japan :P

Even if Sony was interested in ramping up supply for PS4 in Japan, I'm not sure if it would make much of a difference. It would still struggle to even be a challenge to Switch or even make it to 10 million sold LT. I guess at this point, Sony is more focused on getting PS5 off the ground.

Except the XB1 has not been supply constrained. If you want to just make things up and throw it out there in a vain attempt to misinform then sure.

There's a massive difference of 10k per week vs 1k per week over 5+ weeks and said difference will only continue to grow.

Either way, the point still stands of XB getting absolutely dominated by PS in a country that makes up for nearly 60% of its sales.

And the PS4 wouldn't be if Sony had any interest in Japan. But they are also switching production and Japan only gets the scaps.

And why is that? Because Sony is prioritizing the other regions. Microsoft is doing the same with the Xbox, but they cut production more aggressively and thus ran out of consoles halfway through the year and has been supply constrained ever since in all regions.

So if you're claiming that Sony's weak sales in Japan are only due to low supply, anybody else could return that same argument against you for Microsoft in any region right now.



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More charts!

Now for the assorted lead/deficit and associated charts:

The combined surplus the PS4 & XBO have over the 360 & PS3 remains over 3 million units, but we should expect it to get lower than that. In fact, the continued existence of that surplus is likely in jeopardy. In September, the PS4 runs up against what was GTAV's launch month on the PS3, that game causing a big jump in PS3 sales over the previous month. While the PS4 continues to have a large insurmountable surplus, that could dip a bit next month, though after that its lead should resume growing. The XBO meanwhile continues to see its deficit against the 360 grow. Whatever leads the PS4 gains against the PS3, the XBO's deficit negates and then some, resulting in the downward slide we've seen in their net surplus (which was briefly reversed a bit and continues to be slowed down by the COVID bump). Considering that the 360 had one extra year before being replaced, that 3M-unit surplus could evaporate completely before the PS4 & XBO are discontinued as the XBO's deficit is likely to accelerate its growth next year. However, even if they fall behind, the fact that the PS4 & XBO having one fewer year than the 360 is what caused them to do so shows how well they have been selling during the generation proper.



Where exactly the Switch will end up at the end of its life is still up in the air. At this point, it's clear that it should get to at least 40M in the U.S. That's enough to put it into the Top 5 best-selling systems ever in the U.S. But how far past 40M remains to be seen. Some people are convinced it can do a lot better than even that, maybe even become the new #1. However, to do that it needs to get past the reigning kings of consoles and handhelds: the PS2 and DS.

Beat the DS is an uphill battle, one that the Switch will probably lose. The DS sold a staggering 53.5M units in the U.S. lifetime. While it started off with a surplus against the DS, that surplus has been shrinking (and note that I'm not even counting the 1225k units the DS sold in its launch quarter). While the March-May period did reverse that a bit, the surplus is once again starting to shrink. The Switch will need to have a near record-setting holiday season this year and maintain an average baseline of at least 125k/week (500k/month for a 4-week month) in 2021 just to keep pace. Considering that even with this year's sales having been boosted by the one-two punch of AC and the pandemic the Switch has sold on average about 123k units per week over the past eight months, there are reasonable doubts that it can keep things up at this level for another year or two.

And to even start to challenge the DS, the Switch has to get past the PS2. It currently continues to run a deficit against the PS2. That deficit is currently shrinking, though the majority of that deficit reduction came in just the past six months, and half of it from just March & April. The PS2 did after all peak earlier than the Switch, which may currently be at its peak here in its fourth year. But will the Switch's deficit evaporate and become a surplus? Perhaps. The PS2 did have a weak holiday season in 2004 due to shortages of the Slim, and that could very well get them to be a near match (though again, I am excluding the PS2's launch quarter here, which amounted to 1.1M units). But even if the Switch does gain a surplus, that could once again go into full reverse and head back to deficit territory. If it does, that'll be because of the PS2's long tail. Unlike every other system, it did not suffer a massive drop the year it was replaced and it continued to sell well for a while after the PS3 was released, selling nearly 11.3M units from Nov. 2013 onward. That was a big reason it was able to hold on to its title as the reigning #1 home console ever despite formidable challenges by the Wii and Xbox 360. Can the Switch succeed where those other systems failed? Maybe, but it's far from guaranteed. If the Switch drops back down to 2019 levels next year, it will probably fail to pass the PS2. Nintendo systems have poor legs, and once the Switch is inevitably replaced that's going to hurt it against the PS2's long tail.

***

@javi741. AC is the fastest-selling Nintendo exclusive worldwide. In the U.S., maybe not. It's not clear, as we haven't gotten exact sales figures for each month, plus NPD doesn't track digital. We do know that, of all Nintendo exclusives ever, it sold only the third-highest amount of copies at retail in its first month. Smash Ultimate is #1 at about 3.6M copies and Smash Brawl is at #2 at 2.7M copies (SSBU apparently also had, and possibly still has, the #1 debut of any exclusive on any system ever). So, that puts a hard upper limit of 2.7M for the number of physical copies that AC sold in March. For all we know it could be a good bit less than that (I'm not sure what the previous #3 best-debuting Nintendo exclusive was in the U.S., but if we knew it, it would give us the floor for AC's sales at retail in March). And we do know that AC sold 179k at retail in August, so for all we know it could have been very front-loaded.

While we don't know the digital split for Nintendo games, based on an estimate by Nielsen the WW split was something like 40-45% digital for AC in its first month, which if that's also the case for the U.S. would put AC at between 4.5-4.9M copies sold in the March sales period, at most. If SSBU sales were less than 25% digital in its first month, then AC beats it, but maybe not by much. Even with only 10% digital share in the U.S., SSBU still sold at least 4M copies. But considering that Nintendo never came out and bragged about AC beating SSBU in the U.S., that isn't encouraging for AC beating it for all-time #1 best debut ever for an exclusive.

And we've seen what other games that have had very high first-month sales have done. Halo 3 sold 3.3M in its first month in the U.S., and it's unlikely to have moved much more than 200k surplus 360 units that month. GTAV sold some 7M copies at retail between the 360 & PS3 in its first month, yet moved roughly 175k surplus units of both systems that month. And if we attribute all of the Switch's YoY growth in Dec. 2018 to just Smash Ultimate, then it moved only about 260k surplus Switch units that month despite selling 3.6M at retail. Not exactly record-breaking. The idea that AC is doing something like five times what the previous confirmed record was for most surplus consoles moved is not reasonable. Just because it had a very good start, one of the best ever, doesn't mean it was able to move 2M surplus consoles on its own.

And I've already dealt with the gender ratio argument in a previous post.



Shadow1980 said:

More charts!

Now for the assorted lead/deficit and associated charts:

The combined surplus the PS4 & XBO have over the 360 & PS3 remains over 3 million units, but we should expect it to get lower than that. In fact, the continued existence of that surplus is likely in jeopardy. In September, the PS4 runs up against what was GTAV's launch month on the PS3, that game causing a big jump in PS3 sales over the previous month. While the PS4 continues to have a large insurmountable surplus, that could dip a bit next month, though after that its lead should resume growing. The XBO meanwhile continues to see its deficit against the 360 grow. Whatever leads the PS4 gains against the PS3, the XBO's deficit negates and then some, resulting in the downward slide we've seen in their net surplus (which was briefly reversed a bit and continues to be slowed down by the COVID bump). Considering that the 360 had one extra year before being replaced, that 3M-unit surplus could evaporate completely before the PS4 & XBO are discontinued as the XBO's deficit is likely to accelerate its growth next year. However, even if they fall behind, the fact that the PS4 & XBO having one fewer year than the 360 is what caused them to do so shows how well they have been selling during the generation proper.



Where exactly the Switch will end up at the end of its life is still up in the air. At this point, it's clear that it should get to at least 40M in the U.S. That's enough to put it into the Top 5 best-selling systems ever in the U.S. But how far past 40M remains to be seen. Some people are convinced it can do a lot better than even that, maybe even become the new #1. However, to do that it needs to get past the reigning kings of consoles and handhelds: the PS2 and DS.

Beat the DS is an uphill battle, one that the Switch will probably lose. The DS sold a staggering 53.5M units in the U.S. lifetime. While it started off with a surplus against the DS, that surplus has been shrinking (and note that I'm not even counting the 1225k units the DS sold in its launch quarter). While the March-May period did reverse that a bit, the surplus is once again starting to shrink. The Switch will need to have a near record-setting holiday season this year and maintain an average baseline of at least 125k/week (500k/month for a 4-week month) in 2021 just to keep pace. Considering that even with this year's sales having been boosted by the one-two punch of AC and the pandemic the Switch has sold on average about 123k units per week over the past eight months, there are reasonable doubts that it can keep things up at this level for another year or two.

And to even start to challenge the DS, the Switch has to get past the PS2. It currently continues to run a deficit against the PS2. That deficit is currently shrinking, though the majority of that deficit reduction came in just the past six months, and half of it from just March & April. The PS2 did after all peak earlier than the Switch, which may currently be at its peak here in its fourth year. But will the Switch's deficit evaporate and become a surplus? Perhaps. The PS2 did have a weak holiday season in 2004 due to shortages of the Slim, and that could very well get them to be a near match (though again, I am excluding the PS2's launch quarter here, which amounted to 1.1M units). But even if the Switch does gain a surplus, that could once again go into full reverse and head back to deficit territory. If it does, that'll be because of the PS2's long tail. Unlike every other system, it did not suffer a massive drop the year it was replaced and it continued to sell well for a while after the PS3 was released, selling nearly 11.3M units from Nov. 2013 onward. That was a big reason it was able to hold on to its title as the reigning #1 home console ever despite formidable challenges by the Wii and Xbox 360. Can the Switch succeed where those other systems failed? Maybe, but it's far from guaranteed. If the Switch drops back down to 2019 levels next year, it will probably fail to pass the PS2. Nintendo systems have poor legs, and once the Switch is inevitably replaced that's going to hurt it against the PS2's long tail.

***

@javi741. AC is the fastest-selling Nintendo exclusive worldwide. In the U.S., maybe not. It's not clear, as we haven't gotten exact sales figures for each month, plus NPD doesn't track digital. We do know that, of all Nintendo exclusives ever, it sold only the third-highest amount of copies at retail in its first month. Smash Ultimate is #1 at about 3.6M copies and Smash Brawl is at #2 at 2.7M copies (SSBU apparently also had, and possibly still has, the #1 debut of any exclusive on any system ever). So, that puts a hard upper limit of 2.7M for the number of physical copies that AC sold in March. For all we know it could be a good bit less than that (I'm not sure what the previous #3 best-debuting Nintendo exclusive was in the U.S., but if we knew it, it would give us the floor for AC's sales at retail in March). And we do know that AC sold 179k at retail in August, so for all we know it could have been very front-loaded.

While we don't know the digital split for Nintendo games, based on an estimate by Nielsen the WW split was something like 40-45% digital for AC in its first month, which if that's also the case for the U.S. would put AC at between 4.5-4.9M copies sold in the March sales period, at most. If SSBU sales were less than 25% digital in its first month, then AC beats it, but maybe not by much. Even with only 10% digital share in the U.S., SSBU still sold at least 4M copies. But considering that Nintendo never came out and bragged about AC beating SSBU in the U.S., that isn't encouraging for AC beating it for all-time #1 best debut ever for an exclusive.

And we've seen what other games that have had very high first-month sales have done. Halo 3 sold 3.3M in its first month in the U.S., and it's unlikely to have moved much more than 200k surplus 360 units that month. GTAV sold some 7M copies at retail between the 360 & PS3 in its first month, yet moved roughly 175k surplus units of both systems that month. And if we attribute all of the Switch's YoY growth in Dec. 2018 to just Smash Ultimate, then it moved only about 260k surplus Switch units that month despite selling 3.6M at retail. Not exactly record-breaking. The idea that AC is doing something like five times what the previous confirmed record was for most surplus consoles moved is not reasonable. Just because it had a very good start, one of the best ever, doesn't mean it was able to move 2M surplus consoles on its own.

And I've already dealt with the gender ratio argument in a previous post.

It's unfair to compare Smash's sales during the first month since Smash Bros Ultimate and Brawl released towards the beginning of the month, 7th and 9th respectively in the U.S. Compare that to AC where it released on the 20th, so Ultimate nearly had a 2 week advantage which is huge and still was struggling to surpass AC's first month in sales. Also if we compare the sales of AC during its first few months to smash, AC easily runs away with it WW and in the U.S. Smash Still hasn't reached 22M after nearly 2 years(19 Months), AC did that in 3 months. So to expect something like 5 times more surplus units is not out of the realm of possibilities. As for GTA5, the reason why there wasn't a huge surplus for the PS3 and 360 is because it released 2013, by that time everyone and their mother owned a 7th gen system at that point and Halo 3 was never nearly as big as AC.



ACNH March 2020 NPD Physical should be 1.8-1.9M.

Nintendo confirmed US/EUR/JP digital share to be ~50% in both the FY19 Q4 Q&A (end of Pg. 1) and again in FY20 Q1 Results (end of Pg. 11).  Since we know JP's physical AC sales and ship+digital at both of these times, it is easy to extrapolate that the upper-bound for JP's digital share is 30%.  This puts the target number for US/EUR digital share at >60% (not knowing ROTW).  Obviously Europe could be much higher than US or vice-versa, but easy assumption is to just plug 60% in.

Exp total MAR sales for ACNH in US would be 1800-1900K / 0.40 =  4,500 - 4,750K.  

Exp total AUG sales for ACNH in US would be 179K / 0.40 = 448K.

Obviously this isn't exact, digital share fluctuates market-to-market, month-to-month.  

Super rough guesstimate of ACNH monthly NPD sales

Spoiler!

MAR 4,600K (2 weeks)

APR 1,800K (4 weeks)

MAY 1,400K (4 weeks)

JUN 1,100K (5 weeks)

JUL 650K (4 weeks)

AUG 450K (4 weeks)

Tried to do roughly 35% drops (weekly) after April and targeted Apr-Jun summing to ~90% of March launch.



All hardware is selling out because of COVID. PS4 and XB1 aren't affected by Animal Crossing yet they all jumped by near similar amounts (percentage) at the same time in March. Lock downs started in mid March and that directly caused all hardware to sell out because people have nothing else to do. This is what happened in 2009 with the 2008 Recession. Video games gets boosted in times like this. The only reason PS4 and XB1 aren't selling more is because they are producing fewer units than years before and were not expected to sell this much at this point in the year.

Animal Crossing could not have come out and Switch would still be selling the same as it is now.



Won bet with t3mporary_126 - I correctly predicted that the Wii U's LTD at the end of 2014 would be closer to 9 million than 10 million. http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=6673287

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Welfare said:
All hardware is selling out because of COVID. PS4 and XB1 aren't affected by Animal Crossing yet they all jumped by near similar amounts (percentage) at the same time in March. Lock downs started in mid March and that directly caused all hardware to sell out because people have nothing else to do. This is what happened in 2009 with the 2008 Recession. Video games gets boosted in times like this. The only reason PS4 and XB1 aren't selling more is because they are producing fewer units than years before and were not expected to sell this much at this point in the year.

Animal Crossing could not have come out and Switch would still be selling the same as it is now.

Except they aren't.  I can readily & easily purchase a PS4 or an XBox One in the US right now, but I cannot do the same for a Nintendo Switch console, unless I want to pay a scalper on Amazon or Walmart.

Here's Best Buys console results for example:

Model: HADSKABAA
 
SKU: 6364255
$299.9

SOLD OUT

Model: HADSKAAAA
 
SKU: 6364253
$299.99
SOLD OUT
See More Options
Model: 234-00001
 
SKU: 6415222
$299.99
ADD TO CART
Model: 3002337
 
SKU: 5850905
$299.99
ADD TO CART


I always dreamed of a system like the Switch. Glad it's doing well. Haven't bought one yet though. I hope more companies see the potential for such products. I wish for Sony to gain some confidence and try again in this market.



Nintendo has yet to play the strongest card and that's a price reduction for the base switch. It's kinda pointless to reduce the console price right now if Nintendo is still struggling to replenish the stock at retailers across the globe.



Welfare said:
PS4 and XB1 aren't affected by Animal Crossing yet they all jumped by near similar amounts (percentage) at the same time in March.
(snip)

Exactly this.

I don't know why it's forbidden to include Switch when pointing out how much the pandemic has boosted console sales. It doesn't take anything away from its success. Nor does it take anything away from Animal Crossing. Shadow also emphasizes that the boost is a "one-two punch of AC and the pandemic".



Mandalore76 said:
Welfare said:
All hardware is selling out because of COVID. PS4 and XB1 aren't affected by Animal Crossing yet they all jumped by near similar amounts (percentage) at the same time in March. Lock downs started in mid March and that directly caused all hardware to sell out because people have nothing else to do. This is what happened in 2009 with the 2008 Recession. Video games gets boosted in times like this. The only reason PS4 and XB1 aren't selling more is because they are producing fewer units than years before and were not expected to sell this much at this point in the year.

Animal Crossing could not have come out and Switch would still be selling the same as it is now.

Except they aren't.  I can readily & easily purchase a PS4 or an XBox One in the US right now, but I cannot do the same for a Nintendo Switch console, unless I want to pay a scalper on Amazon or Walmart.

Here's Best Buys console results for example:

Model: HADSKABAA
 
SKU: 6364255
$299.9

SOLD OUT

Model: HADSKAAAA
 
SKU: 6364253
$299.99
SOLD OUT
See More Options
Model: 234-00001
 
SKU: 6415222
$299.99
ADD TO CART
Model: 3002337
 
SKU: 5850905
$299.99
ADD TO CART

Just checked at nowinstock, and all three have supply issues. However, the PS4 is available at Gamestop and the Pro at Amazon for their normal retail price, while the Switch is nowhere available unless you pay extreme scalper prices. Meanwhile, the XBO is only available through Microsoft store, others don't even have scalpers units anymore.

So all the consoles still have some supply issues, though they seem to be a bit less severe for Sony and more severe for Microsoft and Nintendo.