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

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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

Nearly a 5 million lead for Switch with an extra holiday season in PS4's favour and with what will probably be Switch's biggest holiday season yet coming up.

A year ago I would've said it was highly unlikely Switch would outsell PS4. While I'm still not 100% sure due to Nintendo's tendency to trip themselves up, it's starting to look like a distinct probability that Switch might win this race.



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

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In 4 Month (Switch December 2020, PS4 August 2017), PS4 is at roughly 63.8 million, so basically at the current Switch numbers. Switch lead then will be at least 10 million, maybe even 12-13 million. If things go really crazy even more. Thats pretty insane.
In 8 Month (Switch April 2021, PS4 December 2017), PS4 is at roughly 73,6 million. So Switch just needs 10 million units to keep the lead after PS4 holidays.

Seems like unless Switch really dropping heavily after 2021 (I can not imagine it will be dropping too much in 2021) PS4 will never take the lead again.



Norion said:

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?

Before spring 2017 I wasn't sure if Switch would get embraced by the market right away. I was expecting Switch to sell more than 100m lifetime for sure, with a first year that wouldn't constitute more than a solid start, then gaining better traction from the second year onwards. That's when I expected Nintendo's value proposition to be fully understood, that Switch was a home console/handheld hybrid and Nintendo's only console going forward, resulting in a much stronger and more robust software library than pretty much every Nintendo console before it.

But in April 2017 Switch had shortages, so the initial demand was much higher than I had expected. The launch phase was already over, but demand remained high which strongly suggested that Switch was going to sell strong throughout its first year already. There wasn't any good reason in my mind why Switch would be notably behind the PS4 after the first year, so it wouldn't have to catch up later on like I initially believed. The potential to catch up in case of an early deficit was always there because Switch could dip into two markets and therefore peak higher than the PS4. But if Switch keeps up with the PS4 from the beginning, then its potential for a higher peak was bound to make it pull away eventually.

I am not a believer in conventional wisdom, in this case the supposed long tails of Sony consoles and supposed early peaks of Nintendo consoles followed by quick declines. The DS had a sustained peak and while others are going to brush that off as an anomaly for a Nintendo system, I rather look for a logical reason why the DS sold the way it did. The health of a software pipeline is a huge factor and the DS had a good one; it had no AAA third party support, but it had a high frequency of good third party releases nonetheless. Applying the fundamental reasoning of a healthy software pipeline to consoles of all manufacturers, you get a high level of consistency for both high- and low-selling consoles, including their sales curves with prolonged peaks or fast declines. So it was never something Nintendo or Sony specific that determined sales curves.

Once you understand that, you just need to look at Switch and examine if its software pipeline will be healthy or not. Being Nintendo's only console, it was bound to get all Nintendo games which is already a big plus. Sony's exit from the handheld market left Nintendo with a monopoly in that space, so that alone was bound to garner third party interest because portable console gaming has made money since the original Game Boy; a game merely being portable constituted a selling point in the past, so that's an opportunity for low investments with good to great returns; and boy, did Switch get a lot of ports from third parties. The third big factor is the Japanese market where Microsoft is virtually irrelevant and Sony on a notable downward trend; an incentive for domestic third parties to give more consideration to Nintendo. Sum it all up and it's highly probable that Switch will get a ton of games throughout its life.

That's why I was confident about Switch's lifetime sales and also about its sales curve. It was so common to see people assume that Switch will peak in year 2, but it never made sense to believe that. Today we already know that Switch didn't peak in year 3 either and that means most previous Nintendo consoles have no use for comparisons with Switch anymore. The DS remains useful. There are still people who believe that Switch sales will decline sharply, but looking at its software pipeline makes that very, very doubtful. Year 4 will likely be Switch's peak year because of how high it will be already, but that doesn't mean we are in for a massive decline over the next couple of years. A sustained peak is much more likely, especially because the most basic means to sustain sales (price cuts and revisions) have been barely used for Switch at this point.

That got a bit long, but no point in trimming down this post now. It is what it is.



Legend11 correctly predicted that GTA IV (360+PS3) would outsell SSBB. I was wrong.

A Biased Review Reloaded / Open Your Eyes / Switch Gamers Club

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Switch vs 3DS and Wii U Sales Comparison - Switch Lead Tops 7 Million in August 2020

This monthly series compares the aligned worldwide Nintendo Switch sales with the combined Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo Wii U sales.

Switch Vs. 3DS and Wii U Global:

Gap change in latest month: 937,313 - Switch

Gap change over last 12 months: 10,695,950 – Switch

Total Lead: 7,163,819 - Switch

Switch Total Sales: 63,403,962

3DS and Wii U Total Sales: 56,240,143

August 2020 is the 42md month that the Nintendo Switch has been available for. During the latest month, the gap grew in favor of the Switch by 937,313 units when compared to the combined sales of the 3DS and Wii U during the same timeframe. In the last 12 months, the gap has grown in favor of the Switch by 10.70 million units. The Switch leads by 7.16 million units.

The 3DS launched in February 2011 (however, 3DS sales have been aligned to March 2011, since it only launched at the end of February in Japan), the Wii U launched in November 2012, and the Nintendo Switch launched worldwide in March 2017. The holiday periods between the Switch and 3DS lineup, however, the Wii U holiday is offset from the Switch.

The 42nd month for the Nintendo Switch is August 2020, for the Nintendo 3DS it is August 2014 and for the Wii U it is April 2016. The Switch has sold 63.40 million units, while the 3DS and Wii U have sold 56.24 million units during the same timeframe. The 3DS and Wii U did not reach current Switch sales until month 49.

The 3DS and Wii U have sold 89.34 million units lifetime through August 2020. The Switch is 25.94 million units behind the 3DS and Wii U. The Wii U has been off the market for several years only selling 13.56 million units lifetime, while the 3DS has sold 75.78 million units to date and is now selling under 5,000 units per week.



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.

That first chart, now that's a cliff. It's a cliff going upward, but it's a still looks like a cliff.



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RolStoppable said:
Norion said:

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?

Before spring 2017 I wasn't sure if Switch would get embraced by the market right away. I was expecting Switch to sell more than 100m lifetime for sure, with a first year that wouldn't constitute more than a solid start, then gaining better traction from the second year onwards. That's when I expected Nintendo's value proposition to be fully understood, that Switch was a home console/handheld hybrid and Nintendo's only console going forward, resulting in a much stronger and more robust software library than pretty much every Nintendo console before it.

But in April 2017 Switch had shortages, so the initial demand was much higher than I had expected. The launch phase was already over, but demand remained high which strongly suggested that Switch was going to sell strong throughout its first year already. There wasn't any good reason in my mind why Switch would be notably behind the PS4 after the first year, so it wouldn't have to catch up later on like I initially believed. The potential to catch up in case of an early deficit was always there because Switch could dip into two markets and therefore peak higher than the PS4. But if Switch keeps up with the PS4 from the beginning, then its potential for a higher peak was bound to make it pull away eventually.

I am not a believer in conventional wisdom, in this case the supposed long tails of Sony consoles and supposed early peaks of Nintendo consoles followed by quick declines. The DS had a sustained peak and while others are going to brush that off as an anomaly for a Nintendo system, I rather look for a logical reason why the DS sold the way it did. The health of a software pipeline is a huge factor and the DS had a good one; it had no AAA third party support, but it had a high frequency of good third party releases nonetheless. Applying the fundamental reasoning of a healthy software pipeline to consoles of all manufacturers, you get a high level of consistency for both high- and low-selling consoles, including their sales curves with prolonged peaks or fast declines. So it was never something Nintendo or Sony specific that determined sales curves.

Once you understand that, you just need to look at Switch and examine if its software pipeline will be healthy or not. Being Nintendo's only console, it was bound to get all Nintendo games which is already a big plus. Sony's exit from the handheld market left Nintendo with a monopoly in that space, so that alone was bound to garner third party interest because portable console gaming has made money since the original Game Boy; a game merely being portable constituted a selling point in the past, so that's an opportunity for low investments with good to great returns; and boy, did Switch get a lot of ports from third parties. The third big factor is the Japanese market where Microsoft is virtually irrelevant and Sony on a notable downward trend; an incentive for domestic third parties to give more consideration to Nintendo. Sum it all up and it's highly probable that Switch will get a ton of games throughout its life.

That's why I was confident about Switch's lifetime sales and also about its sales curve. It was so common to see people assume that Switch will peak in year 2, but it never made sense to believe that. Today we already know that Switch didn't peak in year 3 either and that means most previous Nintendo consoles have no use for comparisons with Switch anymore. The DS remains useful. There are still people who believe that Switch sales will decline sharply, but looking at its software pipeline makes that very, very doubtful. Year 4 will likely be Switch's peak year because of how high it will be already, but that doesn't mean we are in for a massive decline over the next couple of years. A sustained peak is much more likely, especially because the most basic means to sustain sales (price cuts and revisions) have been barely used for Switch at this point.

That got a bit long, but no point in trimming down this post now. It is what it is.

That's a good explanation! If the Switch's success taught me anything it's how wrong gamers can be about stuff like this. That neogaf thread back in January 2017 full of people predicting that it's gonna flop keeps getting better and better to look back on. I did buy into the conventional wisdom about it and thought it wasn't gonna do that well but after spending a lot of time here I understand how this stuff works at least decently well now.



Looks like 3DS + Wii U won't reach 90 million, while Switch will blast passed that before the end of 2021.
Shows how wrong people were to assume that 3DS + Wii U represented the entire potential userbase for a future Nintendo system.



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

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PS4 vs PS3 in Japan Sales Comparison - PS4 Falls Further Behind in August 2020

This monthly series compares the aligned Japanese sales of the PlayStation 4 and the PlayStation 3.

PS4 Vs. PS3 Japan:

Gap change in latest month: 36,548 - PS3

Gap change over last 12 months: 217,783 - PS3

Total Lead: 106,540 – PS3

PlayStation 4 Total Sales: 9,213,541

PlayStation 3 Total Sales: 9,320,081

August 2020 is the 79th month of the PlayStation 4 being on sale in Japan. The gap grew in favor of the PlayStation 3 by 36,548 units in the last month and in favor of the PlayStation 3 by 217,783 units in the last 12 months. The PlayStation 3 now leads by 106,540 units.

The PlayStation 3 launched in November 2006, while the PlayStation 4 launched in February 2014. This does mean the normal holiday periods and the Japanese Golden Week holiday for the two consoles do not lineup.

The 79th month for the PlayStation 4 is August 2020, while for the PlayStation 3 it is May 2013. The PlayStation 4 has sold 9.21 million units, while its predecessor the PlayStation 3 sold 9.32 million units.

The PS3 sold 10.47 million units lifetime in Japan. The PS4 is currently 1.26 million units behind the lifetime sales of the PS3.



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.

PS4 is not going to catch PS3 in Japan. It's limping along pretty badly right now at 1-2k a week. Although there was one week it dipped below 3DS sales.



Yeah PS4 has pretty much flatlined in Japan.

The real question now is whether PS5 will continue the decline and sell even less.



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