Hopefully we get some HW leaks this month. The Switch did a lot better than I thought. Based on the YoY January increase (~40%) and the previous three January-to-February increases for the system (+20-30%), I was thinking it'd be somewhere in the 465k to 500k range. A minimum of 620k is at least a 61% increase from January 2021 assuming ~385k is the actual figure for January. 61% is not unusual for a Jan.-to-Feb. increase in general, even it was larger than previous increases for the Switch specifically. Looking at other systems, though, the Jan.-Feb. increase in general is normally not consistent over time from platform to platform or with a single platform, and what we saw with the Switch in 2018 to 2020 is likely just a coincidence.
In any case, February is normally the biggest non-holiday month of the year in the U.S. in terms of weekly average sales. When other non-holiday months in a given year have been larger than February, it's usually been because of price cuts, hardware revisions, or major system-sellers released later in the year, though stock issues depressing February sales have sometimes been an issue (see the 360 in 2006 and the PS2 in 2001), and last year we had the COVID bump that knocked February way down the list for all systems (AC also helped the Switch last March, maybe even a bit in April). Unless the rumored Switch Pro is real and releases prior to November and/or we have some big surprise game released before the holidays, this may be the biggest non-holiday month this year for the Switch as well. While under normal circumstances, the Feb.-March drop is a bit more consistent, stimulus checks are likely going to start arriving in a lot of people's bank accounts within the next few days, which could lead to a much softer drop in weekly average sales for March, maybe even an increase.
It's possible that Q1 2020 could be very close to Q1 2021 for the Switch, possibly even besting it. January and February have seen big increases YoY, but March was the start of the COVID bump and was also AC:NH's release month. We never got an exact figure for last March (or did we?), but it was at least 1M, so we should expect a huge YoY drop for March sales, though still a very large number. The Switch sold over 1.6M in Q1 2020, so the Switch is going to have to sell as much as 600k in March just for Q1 2021 to match it, depending on what the actual February figure is, and that's entirely possible, maybe even likely, with the next round of stimulus happening (also, while Monster Hunter is not a clear system-seller in the U.S., limited edition consoles tend to be popular, so the MH Rise edition Switch could assist as well).
Assuming a 1.6-1.7M Q1, that would put the Switch slightly ahead YTD, but future months are going to be an obstacle. Assuming no further stimulus or other unusual factors, assuming a typical ~20-35% drop in Q2 from Q1, next quarter could end up being somewhere in the 1-1.35M range, significantly less than the 1.7M the Switch sold in Q2 2020. I'm still expecting the March-Oct. period as a whole to be down substantially from 2020, though even with such declines the Switch should easily clear 7 million units this year in the U.S. (I'm thinking probably around 7.5M), which would be the second-best fifth year ever for any system, well behind the DS's 2009 (11.2M) but a comfortable margin ahead of the 360's 2010 (6.76M), which is the current #2 best fifth year.
As for the PS5 & XBS, it's still too early to make any real determinations for this year considering the persistent stock issues.