U.S. consumers wanted new video game hardware in November, and they spent a ton of money getting the latest Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo devices. This led to a strong month for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch. In fact, November doesn’t have a clear winner in terms of hardware sales. Gamers bought more PS4s than Xbox Ones or Nintendo Switch systems, but people also spent more money buying Xbox Ones than PS4s or Nintendo’s Switch, according to industry tracking firm The NPD Group.
But if you’re looking for which company has the most momentum, that is probably still Sony.
“More units of PlayStation 4 hardware sold in November 2017 than any other month life-to-date,” NPD analyst Mat Piscatella said. “PlayStation 4 is the best-selling video game hardware platform year-to-date.”
But overall, everyone is doing well. Hardware spending for November was up 52 percent year-over-year to $1.1 billion. NPD credits that growth to all three major devices. It’s clear that Xbox fans were waiting for the upgraded 4K-capable Xbox One X system or a price drop on the Xbox One S. The $500 Xbox One X led to this platform generating more revenue than Sony or Nintendo, but the Xbox One also had its best November so far in terms of unit sales.
Now that the Xbox One X is out, Microsoft will have to find a way to maintain some of the energy it has rebuilt around the brand. The market seemingly can support three thriving console platforms — at least when you look at just how much money gamers are spending.
“Year to date, hardware spending has grown 28 percent versus 2016 to $3.4 billion,” said Piscatella. “Consumer spending on Nintendo Switch [and] plug-‘n’-play devices like the Super Nintendo Classic and the PlayStation 4 continue to fuel growth.”
In 2018, we’re unlikely to get any major revisions from Sony or Microsoft, so those companies will likely focus on software support. Nintendo, however, will likely have a revision of the Switch if the history of the 3DS is anything to go on. I also can imagine something along the lines of a Nintendo 64 Classic Edition. But regardless, 2017 saw a lot of people buying consoles for gaming, and this should give every company a chance to capitalize on that success in the months until next November.