Despite supply shortages, the Nintendo Switch is still selling well enough to dominate its competition, at least according to new NPD rankings which have the Switch outselling the Xbox One and PS4 for four of the last six months.
Year-to-date, the PS4 is still the best-selling console in the US, but the Switch was released in March, so that’s put it behind. The two months when the PS4 outsold the Switch is when Nintendo’s supply was at its worst, but when the consoles are actually available, they’re flying off shelves.
The Switch’s success is not necessarily bad news for PS4, which is still having its best year ever, as tends to happen as consoles get older. More people are willing to pick them up as prices drop and last-gen consoles become increasingly irrelevant.
The market as a whole is seeing some declines, however, at least this month. August sales were down 6% compared to last year, which NPD blames on a drop off of last-gen console sales, but also the Xbox One. This year overall is a brighter picture, with hardware sales up 17% to $1.6 billion. NPD says Nintendo deserves the credit for those gains between the Switch and NES Classic.
Nintendo’s stated goal was 10 million Switches sold in 2017, a goal that it should easily be able to hit, and some are predicted 18 million instead if Nintendo can hit that level of supply. That…does not seem like it’s in the cards, given that Nintendo is already predicting Switch shortages for this holiday season, while saying that SNES Classic Editions should be more readily available.
While all of this may not paint the Xbox One in that favorable of a light, keep in mind that this is the run up to the release of the Xbox One X this November, and pre-orders of that console have already been strong. The console is expensive and relatively niche but demand does seem to be there, so it might get Microsoft back in the game even with the market being crowded by the ultra-successful PS4 and Switch.
This will probably turn out to be a very good year for all three console manufacturers, but for entirely different reasons. Sony has produced a monster system that has dominated and continues to dominate with enormous market share. Nintendo has reversed their fortunes from the dark days of the Wii U and are on track to produce what could almost be another Wii-like hit if supply can keep up. Xbox One will now be able to boast about having the most powerful console on the market by a wide margin, and early demand indicates fans are very much into that idea. There’s really not a lot of bad news here for anyone.
This is likely to be an explosive holiday season between all these consoles, plus the added bonus of the SNES Classic Edition for good measure. I remember back when people were worried about whether or not a new console generation could thrive at all, but here we are, and the market could not be more healthy.