Forums - Sales Discussion - VGChartz Gap Charts August 2020 Discussion Thread

The_Liquid_Laser said:

Switch lost a little ground to the DS this month, but that is all it really has to do.  It just needs to basically keep pace or fall just a little behind.  The DS was a monster at this point and it's going to last for about 1.5 more years.  After that DS sales plummet dramatically (like the worst plummet ever).  Switch just needs to keep a steady pace.  Even if it pulls a little behind each month, it just needs to be able to go the distance.

Given how long game development times are nowadays, Switch is bound to get seven years minimum before its successor launches. Given that it's now Nintendo's only console, eight years or more are also possible. When the 3DS could have six hardware SKUs, Switch should see at least five over its lifespan.

The DS had six years for itself (with year 6 still managing 20m units) and that will be the decisive difference in this race. Switch doesn't need to reach the same heights or maintain as high of a plateau as the DS because it will have more time.

Switch was at ~49m by the end of 2019, so a timeline like this would be sufficient:

End of 2020: ~75m
End of 2021: ~100m (new model)
End of 2022: ~122m
End of 2023: ~140m (new model)
End of 2024: ~153m (Switch 2 launches in November 2024)
End of 2025: ~160m
End of 2026: ~163m
End of life: ~164m

This example gives Switch a cushion of 10m to beat the DS and it's not especially optimistic. If Nintendo properly supports this console through 2023, then the above sales progression looks fine. 2024 onwards is when the year over year drops get sharper because the big hitters will go to Switch's successor. What the above sales curve assumes is a transitional period that gets handled similar to how Nintendo handled 3DS to Switch where the old system kept getting low profile games for a couple of years.



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RolStoppable said:
The_Liquid_Laser said:

Switch lost a little ground to the DS this month, but that is all it really has to do.  It just needs to basically keep pace or fall just a little behind.  The DS was a monster at this point and it's going to last for about 1.5 more years.  After that DS sales plummet dramatically (like the worst plummet ever).  Switch just needs to keep a steady pace.  Even if it pulls a little behind each month, it just needs to be able to go the distance.

Given how long game development times are nowadays, Switch is bound to get seven years minimum before its successor launches. Given that it's now Nintendo's only console, eight years or more are also possible. When the 3DS could have six hardware SKUs, Switch should see at least five over its lifespan.

The DS had six years for itself (with year 6 still managing 20m units) and that will be the decisive difference in this race. Switch doesn't need to reach the same heights or maintain as high of a plateau as the DS because it will have more time.

Switch was at ~49m by the end of 2019, so a timeline like this would be sufficient:

End of 2020: ~75m
End of 2021: ~100m (new model)
End of 2022: ~122m
End of 2023: ~140m (new model)
End of 2024: ~153m (Switch 2 launches in November 2024)
End of 2025: ~160m
End of 2026: ~163m
End of life: ~164m

This example gives Switch a cushion of 10m to beat the DS and it's not especially optimistic. If Nintendo properly supports this console through 2023, then the above sales progression looks fine. 2024 onwards is when the year over year drops get sharper because the big hitters will go to Switch's successor. What the above sales curve assumes is a transitional period that gets handled similar to how Nintendo handled 3DS to Switch where the old system kept getting low profile games for a couple of years.

I think you've given a fairly realistic projection.  Switch actually has a couple of major advantags that the DS didn't have at this point.  The biggest advantage is the base model is still at launch price, and it's massively in short supply 3.5 years later.  It doesn't even need a game bundled in with it.  Switch has had one revision, the Lite model, but people are still willing to pay $300 (or more) for the launch model version of the Switch.  There is still a huge amount of room for price cuts, bundles and revisions, and Switch doesn't need to do them any time soon.  Even though I think this is definitely the peak year, annual sales can fall like a feather.

The other major advantage, as you said, is that they can afford to support the Switch for longer.  Put all of this together, and Switch has very good odds against the DS.



RolStoppable said:
The_Liquid_Laser said:

Switch lost a little ground to the DS this month, but that is all it really has to do.  It just needs to basically keep pace or fall just a little behind.  The DS was a monster at this point and it's going to last for about 1.5 more years.  After that DS sales plummet dramatically (like the worst plummet ever).  Switch just needs to keep a steady pace.  Even if it pulls a little behind each month, it just needs to be able to go the distance.

Given how long game development times are nowadays, Switch is bound to get seven years minimum before its successor launches. Given that it's now Nintendo's only console, eight years or more are also possible. When the 3DS could have six hardware SKUs, Switch should see at least five over its lifespan.

The DS had six years for itself (with year 6 still managing 20m units) and that will be the decisive difference in this race. Switch doesn't need to reach the same heights or maintain as high of a plateau as the DS because it will have more time.

Switch was at ~49m by the end of 2019, so a timeline like this would be sufficient:

End of 2020: ~75m
End of 2021: ~100m (new model)
End of 2022: ~122m
End of 2023: ~140m (new model)
End of 2024: ~153m (Switch 2 launches in November 2024)
End of 2025: ~160m
End of 2026: ~163m
End of life: ~164m

This example gives Switch a cushion of 10m to beat the DS and it's not especially optimistic. If Nintendo properly supports this console through 2023, then the above sales progression looks fine. 2024 onwards is when the year over year drops get sharper because the big hitters will go to Switch's successor. What the above sales curve assumes is a transitional period that gets handled similar to how Nintendo handled 3DS to Switch where the old system kept getting low profile games for a couple of years.

Back in 2019 I would think a sales timeline like that would be absolutely ridiculous but now it's not that out there to me. Just seeing the Switch keep up with the DS during its peak for several months in a row is making me think it outselling the DS and PS2 to become the best selling console is a possibility. Also seeing that if the Switch ends up having similar declines to the Wii that it would still get above 130 million at this point is making me realize 140 million is likely the floor now since it shouldn't get abandoned that quickly. It'll heavily depend on when the Switch 2 launches but if holiday 2024 is when it does then there should be a real chance at beating the DS.



All Nintendo have to do now is not take the Switch out behind the woodshed prematurely and foolishly rush out a successor to try to compete with PS5/XSX.



Bet with Liquidlaser: I say PS5 and Xbox Series will sell more than 56 million combined by the end of 2023.

curl-6 said:

All Nintendo have to do now is not take the Switch out behind the woodshed prematurely and foolishly rush out a successor to try to compete with PS5/XSX.

They also need to keep up with a steady flow of releases. While the 2020 holiday lineup isn't amazing, Animal Crossing and even Ring Fit Adventure are still selling like crazy and them alone must have sold millions of Switch consoles. 



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Norion said:

Back in 2019 I would think a sales timeline like that would be absolutely ridiculous but now it's not that out there to me. Just seeing the Switch keep up with the DS during its peak for several months in a row is making me think it outselling the DS and PS2 to become the best selling console is a possibility. Also seeing that if the Switch ends up having similar declines to the Wii that it would still get above 130 million at this point is making me realize 140 million is likely the floor now since it shouldn't get abandoned that quickly. It'll heavily depend on when the Switch 2 launches but if holiday 2024 is when it does then there should be a real chance at beating the DS.

This week the thread asking when Switch will pass the PS4's lifetime sales got bumped and I had voted for "second half of 2024" a long time ago. That Switch would eventually beat the PS4 has been a given since spring 2017 in my opinion, and Switch was on track to pull it off. But this year's sustained uptick in sales rate will make it happen sooner than 2024, especially in combination with Sony's decision to move on to the PS5 quickly which in turn puts a lower ceiling on PS4 lifetime sales now.

There was another interesting thread earlier this year that asked if Switch can sell 150m lifetime; that was bold at the time (come to think of it, probably a tbone51 thread). If I remember correctly, I laid out the maths that if Switch can average 17.5m per year from 2020-2023, it would be at ~120m by the end of 2023, giving it a shot at north of 140m due to the length of its lifespan. About half a year ago an average of 17.5m per year seemed too optimistic for most people, but now it looks like a piece of cake with both 2020 and 2021 set to finish far above that average.

Which also means that my post from five months ago will have been to pessimistic as far as people realizing what a beast Switch is going to be:
https://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=9135752



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Switch vs PS4 Sales Comparison - Switch Lead Nears 5 Million in August 2020

This monthly series compares the aligned worldwide sales of the Nintendo Switch and the PlayStation 4.

Switch Vs. PS4 Global:

Gap change in latest month: 464,164 - Switch

Gap change over last 12 months: 7,320,053 - Switch

Total Lead: 4,838,114 - Switch

Switch Total Sales: 63,403,962

PS4 Total Sales: 58,565,848

August 2020 is the 42nd month that the Nintendo Switch has been available for. During the latest month, the gap grew in favor of the Switch by 464,164 units when compared to the PlayStation 4 during the same timeframe. In the last 12 months, the Switch has outsold the PlayStation 4 by 7.32 million units. The Switch is currently ahead of the PlayStation 4 by 4.84 million units.

The PlayStation 4 launched in November 2013, while the Nintendo Switch launched worldwide in March 2017. Therefore, the holiday periods for the two consoles do not lineup, which is why there are big increases and decreases.

The 42nd month on sale for the Nintendo Switch is August 2020, while for the PlayStation 4 it is April 2017. The Switch has sold 623.40 million units, while the PlayStation 4 sold 58.57 million units during the same timeframe. The PlayStation 4 did not reach current Switch sales until month 47.

The PlayStation 4 has sold 112.96 million units through Augu



VGChartz Sales Analyst and Writer - William D'Angelo - I stream on Twitch and have my own YoutubeFollow me on Twitter @TrunksWD.

Writer of the Gap Charts | Weekly Hardware Breakdown Top 10 | Weekly Sales Analysis | Marketshare Features, as well as daily news on the Video Game Industry.

RolStoppable said:
Norion said:

Back in 2019 I would think a sales timeline like that would be absolutely ridiculous but now it's not that out there to me. Just seeing the Switch keep up with the DS during its peak for several months in a row is making me think it outselling the DS and PS2 to become the best selling console is a possibility. Also seeing that if the Switch ends up having similar declines to the Wii that it would still get above 130 million at this point is making me realize 140 million is likely the floor now since it shouldn't get abandoned that quickly. It'll heavily depend on when the Switch 2 launches but if holiday 2024 is when it does then there should be a real chance at beating the DS.

This week the thread asking when Switch will pass the PS4's lifetime sales got bumped and I had voted for "second half of 2024" a long time ago. That Switch would eventually beat the PS4 has been a given since spring 2017 in my opinion, and Switch was on track to pull it off. But this year's sustained uptick in sales rate will make it happen sooner than 2024, especially in combination with Sony's decision to move on to the PS5 quickly which in turn puts a lower ceiling on PS4 lifetime sales now.

There was another interesting thread earlier this year that asked if Switch can sell 150m lifetime; that was bold at the time (come to think of it, probably a tbone51 thread). If I remember correctly, I laid out the maths that if Switch can average 17.5m per year from 2020-2023, it would be at ~120m by the end of 2023, giving it a shot at north of 140m due to the length of its lifespan. About half a year ago an average of 17.5m per year seemed too optimistic for most people, but now it looks like a piece of cake with both 2020 and 2021 set to finish far above that average.

Which also means that my post from five months ago will have been to pessimistic as far as people realizing what a beast Switch is going to be:
https://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=9135752

Before I thought your expectations for the Switch were too optimistic but now I realize that you just understand stuff like this better than most others. Props for getting this right way before almost anyone else. It took till the second half of 2020 for me to see the light to put it one way but it's still gonna feel good being ahead of the general consensus by at least a few months. I'm curious, what made you think it was a given as early as spring 2017?



Switch is pulling ahead of PS4 every month now, and holidays are coming up soon.  This is where Switch leaves PS4 far behind.



curl-6 said:

All Nintendo have to do now is not take the Switch out behind the woodshed prematurely and foolishly rush out a successor to try to compete with PS5/XSX.

Knowing they will likely release the heavily rumoured Switch "pro" next year, i'm sure the Switch should stay at least 3 more years without any successor on the market. That wouldn't make sense to release a pro that could apperently do 4k (probably dlss but still) and just launch a new system with not much power 2 years after.

It will shoot to 100 millions fast but let's see how they handle things after that bench mark.