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Forums - Sales Discussion - March NPD 2021: Switch > 938k, PS5 > 473k , XBS > 234k

Eagle367 said:

I don't get what's so special about CoD that Americans just buy it by default

imagine a game where instead of stoning your enemies you shoot them



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390k PS5s at an average selling price of $480 translates to 681k Switch units at an average selling price of $275. An ASP of $265 for Switch would result in 706k units sold. If the PS5 did notably better than 390k in March, then Switch sold more than 700k in any case.

I don't remember how big the year over year lead was that Switch built during January and February, but 2021 is faring well either way.



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Eagle367 said:

I don't get what's so special about CoD that Americans just buy it by default

There are lots of franchises that people buy "by default".  Final Fantasy is nowhere nearly as good as it used to be, and yet it still sells many millions of copies every time a new game comes out.  The brand has a certain install base that shows up at every release.  You see that with most major brands (Pokemon, FIFA, etc...).

In the case of Call of Duty, the series really exploded in popularity in Generation 7.  The most popular system in the US at the time was XBox360.  What were the big games to play on that system?  Halo, Call of Duty, etc... basically online shooters.  That was what the XBox360 really excelled at and Call of Duty was the most popular one.  It has that huge install base.  Even if some of those people bought PS4's later, the game still has the install base that was built during the XBox360.



kirby007 said:
Eagle367 said:

I don't get what's so special about CoD that Americans just buy it by default

imagine a game where instead of stoning your enemies you shoot them

That's..... a....... jokeee...... I guess



Just a guy who doesn't want to be bored. Also

mk7sx said:
Shadow1980 said:

If we knew the average split between the disc and digital editions of the PS4 and between the standard Switch and the Lite, we could make a calculation for the Switch's minimum sales for March.

Here's Nintendo's data on shipments to "The Americas" so not entirely US specific, but the closest we can get.

Would suggest ASP around $265 is a solid bet.  Doubt its far off from the $260 - 270 range.

Thanks!

We know that Q1 saw the PS5 at #1 for dollars but the Switch #1 for units, and that the PS5 is LTD ahead of the PS4. We know the PS5 sold 1958k last year, while the PS4 sold 2914k in its first five months, so that gives us at least 956k for the PS5 in Q1 (meaning the estimates we have are pretty close, maybe very slight undertracking). So, assuming an ARP of $480, that's at least $458.9M in revenue for the PS5. There were right at about 1M Switches sold total between January & February, so that gives us a total about $265M, leaving us with at most about $194M for March. That gives us an upper limit of ~730k. Since the Switch was #1 in both units and revenue in March, that gives us a lower limit of ~705k, assuming 390k for the PS5.

So, our likely range for the Switch for March is 705-730k, again assuming that the PS5 disc-to-digital ratio is roughly correct. That's a substantial drop from March 2020, but only a slight decline from February in terms of weekly averages, and still very strong, with the month aided by the $1400 stimulus checks. That would give us a Q1 total of at least 1700k, at least 100k ahead of Q1 2020, where the Switch sold a bit over 1.6M (did we ever get an exact number for March, or do we still have nothing better than that flat 1M estimate?). All of Q1's improvements for the Switch came from January & February, as those were the pre-AC, pre-pandemic months and Switch sales, while, good, were nowhere close to where they've been in the past year.

Looking further into the year and what the Switch's 2021 is up against, the Switch sold 808k last April, an average of 202k/week, essentially flat from March 2020. March got a bump from AC and the initial surge in demand for consoles, while April saw the first round of stimulus checks. March of this year had stimulus checks (and Monster Hunter, but that's never been a system-seller in the U.S.), but April has nothing. Even if the Switch was closer to 700k for March 2021, then assuming its weekly average holds it will still only pull in around 560k for this April. And that's a big if, considering the April 2020 stimulus had by far the biggest one-month impact in that first month. More likely, April's sales will be in the 400-500k range, which would put 2021 in the hole against 2020 by probably around 200-300k. May will likely be comparable to April, which won't help 2021's probable YTD deficit, which could grow by as much as another 100k. The entire May-October period will likely need to be at least 10% better than it was last year for the Switch's 2021 to at least match its 2020 by time it gets to the holiday season. June & July will be where the Switch's 2021 can potentially regain some lost ground, as sales slowed down in those months due to stock issues (365k in June, 340k in July). However, the August-October period was huge thanks to improved stocks. It sold 1.91M in that 3-month span last, an average of ~637k/month, and against that level of sales the Switch's 2021 could once again lose ground to 2020. If the Switch's 2021 is running a YTD deficit against 2020 by the end of October, then it's going to need to have an outstanding holiday season, significantly better than the previous two.

Unless there's some big surprise, there aren't any huge original games officially slated for later this year as of yet. There's the Pokemon Gen 4 remake and Skyward Sword HD, but Pokemon remakes have never been notable system-sellers, nor have Zelda remasters. BotW2 might help, if it comes out this year. Perhaps the best chance 2021 has of beating 2020 is the Switch Pro. However, we have no official announcement, meaning no release date or price is known. Also, not every hardware revision has the same impact on sales. In the U.S., we saw revisions like the GBA SP, DS Lite, 360 S, and PS3 Slim give a significant long-term boosts to sales. Others, like the DSi, 2DS, and New 3DS, had far less impact, causing sales to spike initially before quickly returning to the previous baseline. And on rare occasions, like with the PS4 Pro and PSP-3000, hardware revisions don't seem to have done anything to boost sales. I could see the Switch Pro possibly helping offset whatever YTD deficit the Switch has this year prior to the Pro's release. Whether it does or not could depend on what exactly it is and how much it costs (presumably, it'll be a full spec upgrade, which means it might cost more than the OG Switch.

It's still too early to call, but 2021 being the Switch's peak year is far from certain. We'll have to see how it continues to sell throughout the spring and into the summer, especially seeing as things may return back to normal as vaccinations continue apace and the country gets back to 100% reopened (I personally can't wait for summer blockbusters), which could negatively impact demand for consoles.

Last edited by Shadow1980 - on 16 April 2021

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Shadow1980 said:
mk7sx said:

Here's Nintendo's data on shipments to "The Americas" so not entirely US specific, but the closest we can get.

Would suggest ASP around $265 is a solid bet.  Doubt its far off from the $260 - 270 range.

Thanks!

We know that Q1 saw the PS5 at #1 for dollars but the Switch #1 for units, and that the PS5 is LTD ahead of the PS4. We know the PS5 sold 1958k last year, while the PS4 sold 2914k in its first five months, so that gives us at least 956k for the PS5 in Q1 (meaning the estimates we have are pretty close, maybe very slight undertracking). So, assuming an ARP of $480, that's at least $458.9M in revenue for the PS5. There were right at about 1M Switches sold total between January & February, so that gives us a total about $265M, leaving us with at most about $194M for March. That gives us an upper limit of ~730k. Since the Switch was #1 in both units and revenue in March, that gives us a lower limit of ~705k, assuming 390k for the PS5.

The only issue here is I'm willing to bet that the PS5 was quite a bit higher than 390K, but we don't actually know its upper-end do we?  The only high-end constraints we have are total HW $ sales for all devices and Mat did not mention any single month/single quarter records for the Switch.  If PS5 inched closer to 450K for instance, then NSW is up in the low 800s (holding the same avg price assumptions).



RolStoppable said:

390k PS5s at an average selling price of $480 translates to 681k Switch units at an average selling price of $275. An ASP of $265 for Switch would result in 706k units sold. If the PS5 did notably better than 390k in March, then Switch sold more than 700k in any case.

I don't remember how big the year over year lead was that Switch built during January and February, but 2021 is faring well either way.

Revenue means nothing. Profit means everything. Based on past history it is far more likely Nintendo is making more profit off a $300 console than Sony is off a $500 console.

Either way fantastic sales for everyone.



Shadow1980 said:
mk7sx said:

Here's Nintendo's data on shipments to "The Americas" so not entirely US specific, but the closest we can get.

Would suggest ASP around $265 is a solid bet.  Doubt its far off from the $260 - 270 range.

Thanks!

We know that Q1 saw the PS5 at #1 for dollars but the Switch #1 for units, and that the PS5 is LTD ahead of the PS4. We know the PS5 sold 1958k last year, while the PS4 sold 2914k in its first five months, so that gives us at least 956k for the PS5 in Q1 (meaning the estimates we have are pretty close, maybe very slight undertracking). So, assuming an ARP of $480, that's at least $458.9M in revenue for the PS5. There were right at about 1M Switches sold total between January & February, so that gives us a total about $265M, leaving us with at most about $194M for March. That gives us an upper limit of ~730k. Since the Switch was #1 in both units and revenue in March, that gives us a lower limit of ~705k, assuming 390k for the PS5.

So, our likely range for the Switch for March is 705-730k, again assuming that the PS5 disc-to-digital ratio is roughly correct. That's a substantial drop from March 2020, but only a slight decline from February in terms of weekly averages, and still very strong, with the month aided by the $1400 stimulus checks. That would give us a Q1 total of at least 1700k, at least 100k ahead of Q1 2020, where the Switch sold a bit over 1.6M (did we ever get an exact number for March, or do we still have nothing better than that flat 1M estimate?). All of Q1's improvements for the Switch came from January & February, as those were the pre-AC, pre-pandemic months and Switch sales, while, good, were nowhere close to where they've been in the past year.

Looking further into the year and what the Switch's 2021 is up against, the Switch sold 808k last April, an average of 202k/week, essentially flat from March 2020. March got a bump from AC and the initial surge in demand for consoles, while April saw the first round of stimulus checks. March of this year had stimulus checks (and Monster Hunter, but that's never been a system-seller in the U.S.), but April has nothing. Even if the Switch was closer to 700k for March 2021, then assuming its weekly average holds it will still only pull in around 560k for this April. And that's a big if, considering the April 2020 stimulus had by far the biggest one-month impact in that first month. More likely, April's sales will be in the 400-500k range, which would put 2021 in the hole against 2020 by probably around 200-300k. May will likely be comparable to April, which won't help 2021's probable YTD deficit, which could grow by as much as another 100k. The entire May-October period will likely need to be at least 10% better than it was last year for the Switch's 2021 to at least match its 2020 by time it gets to the holiday season. June & July will be where the Switch's 2021 can potentially regain some lost ground, as sales slowed down in those months due to stock issues (365k in June, 340k in July). However, the August-October period was huge thanks to improved stocks. It sold 1.91M in that 3-month span last, an average of ~637k/month, and against that level of sales the Switch's 2021 could once again lose ground to 2020. If the Switch's 2021 is running a YTD deficit against 2020 by the end of October, then it's going to need to have an outstanding holiday season, significantly better than the previous two.

Unless there's some big surprise, there aren't any huge original games officially slated for later this year as of yet. There's the Pokemon Gen 4 remake and Skyward Sword HD, but Pokemon remakes have never been notable system-sellers, nor have Zelda remasters. BotW2 might help, if it comes out this year. Perhaps the best chance 2021 has of beating 2020 is the Switch Pro. However, we have no official announcement, meaning no release date or price is known. Also, not every hardware revision has the same impact on sales. In the U.S., we saw revisions like the GBA SP, DS Lite, 360 S, and PS3 Slim give a significant long-term boosts to sales. Others, like the DSi, 2DS, and New 3DS, had far less impact, causing sales to spike initially before quickly returning to the previous baseline. And on rare occasions, like with the PS4 Pro and PSP-3000, hardware revisions don't seem to have done anything to boost sales. I could see the Switch Pro possibly helping offset whatever YTD deficit the Switch has this year prior to the Pro's release. Whether it does or not could depend on what exactly it is and how much it costs (presumably, it'll be a full spec upgrade, which means it might cost more than the OG Switch.

It's still too early to call, but 2021 being the Switch's peak year is far from certain. We'll have to see how it continues to sell throughout the spring and into the summer, especially seeing as things may return back to normal as vaccinations continue apace and the country gets back to 100% reopened (I personally can't wait for summer blockbusters), which could negatively impact demand for consoles.

I agree that 2021 being the peak year is far from certain but that fact that we are even debating this is crazy as most people last year were stating with confidence that 2020 wont be matched and in fact 2021 would see a significant drop.



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RolStoppable said:

390k PS5s at an average selling price of $480 translates to 681k Switch units at an average selling price of $275. An ASP of $265 for Switch would result in 706k units sold. If the PS5 did notably better than 390k in March, then Switch sold more than 700k in any case.

I don't remember how big the year over year lead was that Switch built during January and February, but 2021 is faring well either way.

Best numbers we got

Jan: 385k + Feb: 614k — 999k (2021)

Jan: 270k + Feb 338k — 608k (2020)

for H1 2020

Mar: 1000k

apr: 808k

May: 530k

Jun: 365k (major shortages)

2020 H1: 3311k

If NSW was at 700k in March, it needs another 1612k to match last year or 537k avg monthly



When Mat Piscatella says about March 2021: "Switch showing few signs of slowing", he really mean it.