November was a strong month for console sales, with PlayStation 4 and Xbox One setting records
November is an important month for sales, especially in electronics retail in North America, with Black Friday and Cyber Monday price wars dominating. All three major consoles — Microsoft Xbox One, Sony PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch — reported strong sales over November.
Recently Sony reported that PlayStation 4 lifetime sales had hit 70 million units, significantly ahead of the similarly aged Xbox One or the much younger Switch. Comments from NPD Analyst Mat Piscatella reported by gamesindustry.biz show that Sony outsold both competitors to extend that lead, in addition to also setting a record for the highest monthly sales in the product’s lifetime.
"Sony's PlayStation 4 sold the most units of any hardware platform in the month of November …" said Piscatella. "More units of PlayStation 4 hardware sold in November 2017 than any other month life-to-date. PlayStation 4 is the best-selling video game hardware platform year-to-date."
However, while Sony was growing their lead, Microsoft was pulling in the highest revenue for the month with the newly released and higher priced Xbox One X accounting for this. The Xbox One also set its own record by achieving the most November unit sales in the products lifetime.
"… Microsoft's Xbox One drove the highest dollar sales of any hardware platform during the month," said Piscatella. "… Xbox One hardware generated its highest unit sales tally of any November month life-to-date."
Finally, Nintendo Switch sell-though was also strong. A few days ago Nintendo reported they had hit 10 million sales over nine months of availability, and we can assume that this means they added roughly 2 million consoles sold worldwide based on the 8 million figure given in early November. A highlight for Nintendo as a publisher would be having five titles in the top 20 selling games in November, despite being restricted to a single platform.
It will be interesting to see if Sony continues having the highest sales through December, whether the Xbox X keeps pushing increased revenue for Microsoft, and if Nintendo has their traditional pre-Christmas spike and stays on track to hit their 14 million expected sales by the end of March 2018.