November 2020 NPD hardware sales: Switch, PlayStation 5 split sales victory

PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X launched last month, and they helped set a new November record, according to industry-tracking firm The NPD Group. But the fever for next-gen consoles didn’t cool off demand for the Nintendo Switch.

“Consumers spent a November record $ 1.4 billion on new video game hardware, an increase of 58% when compared to a year ago,” NPD analyst Mat Piscatella said. “Growth was driven by the launches of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series consoles. Year-to-date hardware spending reached $ 4 billion, 34% higher than a year ago.”

When it comes to the top console of the month, Nintendo and Sony split the victory along predictable lines. 

“PlayStation 5 was November’s best-selling hardware platform in consumer spending, while Nintendo Switch led the market in units sold,” said Piscatella. “Nintendo Switch has been the best-selling hardware platform in units sold for a record 24 consecutive months.”

PlayStation 5 is $ 500, and the PS5 Digital Edition is $ 400. The Switch is $ 300 and the Switch Lite is $ 200. So even with the Switch outselling PS5, Sony still generated more revenue from its hardware.

The demand for both the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S was intense. And both systems would’ve sold more if it weren’t due to supply constraints.

“PlayStation 5 achieved the highest launch month unit and dollar sales for a video game hardware platform in U.S. history,” said Piscatella. “The records were previously held by the PlayStation 4, which debuted in November 2013.”

Nintendo released more details about its sales based on NPD data last night. It sold 1.3 million Switch consoles in November. That brings it to 6.92 million in the U.S. for 2020 year to date. That’s more than 426,000 units ahead of Switch’s 2019 sales pace through the same period.

November 2020 NPD: PlayStation 5’s DualSense controller led accessory spending

When it comes to accessories, consumers went wild to get a second controller for their new systems.

“Spending on accessories reached $ 314 million in November 2020,” said Piscatella. “That’s 8% higher when compared to a year ago. Year-to-date spending has increased 22% to a record $ 2.1 billion.”

The DualSense was the standout peripheral for the next-gen consoles.  

“Sony’s DualSense Wireless Controller White achieved the highest launch month unit and dollar sales for a gamepad in U.S. history,” said Piscatella.

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