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Forums - Sales Discussion - October NPD: Switch 736k, XBO 68K, PS4 39K

PS4 sales are too low everywhere. I think Sony is trying to produce more PS5's until everyone that's whining on social media has gotten one before producing more PS4's.

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Chart time!

Now that we have the actual June figures for the Switch, we can see that it clearly had stock issues in both June and July. All three systems benefited from restocks in August. Stock for the Switch appears to have remained good enough to maintain August levels through September, and probably through October, which also benefited from a new batch of the limited edition Animal Crossing-themed Switch (game not included) that dropped around Oct. 24. Limited edition consoles tend to be very popular and sometimes help boost sales, so a rush for those systems in the last days of October probably contributed to October's weekly average being up 37.3% from September.

Overall, the Switch averaged about 121k units per week for the entire May-October period, 76.8% higher than the same period in 2019. Could it have done substantially better with better stock? Perhaps. Unfortunately, stock was an issue for all three systems at various points throughout the year, and there's no way to know exactly how much they would have sold without those issues. Regardless of our ability to properly gauge the exact level of it, there was clearly generally increased demand for game consoles this year.

The PS4 & XBO performed quite well overall for the year so far despite the rough start and both of them facing replacement. They averaged much smaller year-over-year drops than their predecessors did in 2013. Overall, combined PS4+XBO sales in 2020 were down only about 4.4% for the Jan.-Oct. period, compared to -31.2% for combined PS3+360 sales in the same period in 2013. Even outside the initial effects of the COVID bump they experienced smaller overall drops than their predecessors. Combined PS4+XBO sales were down only 22% for the May-October period, compared to -36.7% for combined PS3+360 sales in the same period in 2013. That disparity would have favored the PS4 & XBO even more had it not been for the PS4 & XBO having intermittent stock issues and the PS3 & 360 benefiting from GTA5.

They also fare quite well in absolute terms, selling about 3.17M combined for the Jan.-Oct. period, compared to 3.22M for combined PS3+360 sales in the same period in 2013. Combined PS4+XBO sales for the period of Jan. 2019 to Feb. 2020 were less than combined PS3+360 sales for the Jan. 2012 to Feb. 2013 period, with only November favoring the PS4 & XBO due to the increased importance of Black Friday. The initial effects of the COVID bump are obvious, but even past that there was a clear residual effect. For the May-Oct. period, combined PS4+XBO sales fared better in absolute terms for three of those six months; July was slightly worse because of XBO stock issues, September was worse because both the PS3 & 360 (the former especially) benefited from the release of GTA5, and October was worse because of a combination of PS4 stock issues, the 360 getting holiday bundles, and both the PS3 and possibly 360 getting some residual effects from GTA.

Had this been a more normal year, we probably would have seen what all three systems would have sold in the absence of stock issues, and they all almost certainly would have sold worse than they actually have. But 2020 was anything but normal, and unusual circumstances gave us a very strong year in terms of total hardware sales.

More charts to come later... possibly. I wanted to have this done on Monday, but I've been sidetracked by other stuff.

Last edited by Shadow1980 - on 21 November 2020


In accordance to the VGC forum rules, §8.5, I hereby exercise my right to demand to be left alone regarding the subject of the effects of the pandemic on video game sales (i.e., "COVID bump").