When it comes to console sales, the holiday shopping period is one of the best times of the year to save big bucks. But just how well are Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony doing in console sales? Analysts have been checking inventories and supply to determine whether the Nintendo Switch, Xbox One X or PlayStation 4 Pro will end the year at the top of the heap in terms of popularity.
The theme this year seems to be a preference for older console models over the newest Xbox One X, but that doesn’t mean Microsoft is losing out or having a bad holiday season so far.
Nintendo Switch leads the way
For some, it comes as no surprise that the Nintendo Switch is leading console sales this holiday season. However, others might be surprised that this is the case since the console has been out since it was released nine months ago, while the Xbox One X was released just one month ago.
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Jefferies analyst Atul Goyal said in a note to investors that despite the lack of any discount on the Nintendo Switch, it was “the best-selling product for online retailers” looking across every category on Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, based on Adobe’s Digital Insights data. Goyal added that the Switch was within the top five bestselling products at online retailers on other key dates, including Veterans Day and the day before Thanksgiving.
The Jefferies analyst also said that the Nintendo Switch has been selling better than all other consoles in its first 11 months, with a record launch weekend, record launch month, and multiple game-related records.
“Best ever Black Friday console sales” for Sony
Goyal also mentioned the PlayStation 4, which Sony management described as its “best ever Black Friday console sales in its history.” This is the console’s fifth holiday season, although Sony released updated model, the PlayStation 4 Pro, about a year ago. The company and retailers slashed $100 off the PS4, including some of the bundles, putting the 1TB PS4 at $199 and the PS4 Pro at $350. Sony said it sold more consoles on Black Friday than ever before in its 22-year history.
Analytics firm 1010data said in a report that the PS4 was actually the top search term between November 23 and 27, and interestingly, the Nintendo Switch was in the fourth spot. One reason for this could be because the search term captures all the PS4 models, while the Nintendo Switch has just one model.
Xbox One X beaten by Xbox One S
As far as Microsoft console sales are concerned, the Xbox One S appears to be more popular than the newer Xbox One X this year. This could be because some deep discounts were offered on the One S, similar to what Sony did.
Deutsche Bank analyst Karl Keirstead and team checked inventory levels at Microsoft, Target, Best Buy, GameStop and Walmart, and they also found that demand was skewed toward the cheaper Xbox One S. He also found that the PS4 was more popular than the Xbox as inventories seemed to be lower and many checks said it was the most purchased or asked about. Despite that, Keirstead still said that checks indicated “good buying traction with the Xbox One” because even the more expensive Xbox One X was sold out right after launch, although it’s now back in stock. He believes the One X at least met Microsoft’s expectations.
Summing up all this data on consoles, we can see that various sources are telling different stories, although it looks like the race could be neck and neck between the Nintendo Switch and PS4.