Consumer spending on gaming hardware continued its plummet in October, according to The NPD Group. U.S. gamers spent $182 million on new consoles. That is down 41% from October 2018. The Nintendo Switch was once again the top-selling system for the month. But it’s worth noting that the comparison to 2018 is tough because Red Dead Redemption 2 launched for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 in October 2018. That game likely moved a significant number of systems. October 2019 did not have anything like that.
But even without Red Dead, it’s clear that the younger Switch is still in the prime of its life. And the aging Xbox and PlayStation devices are in their twilight.
“Nintendo Switch was again the best-selling hardware platform of October and remains the best-selling platform of 2019,” NPD analyst Mat Piscatella said. “Year-to-date hardware spending has declined 23% versus a year ago, to $2.1 billion. Nintendo Switch is the only platform with sales gains both in October as well as year to date.”
But just because PS4 is on the way out doesn’t mean it can’t celebrate. The console is still one of the best-performing systems ever through its most lucrative years.
“With six years in the market, the PlayStation 4 ranks as the third-fastest unit-selling home console in history,” said Piscatella. “It’s trailing only the six-year sales totals of the Wii and the PlayStation 2.”
October 2019 accessory sales continue the Fortnite hangover
When it comes to the other hardware category, sales are also down. But the decline isn’t nearly as drastic.
“Total October 2019 spending on accessories and game cards fell 16 percent when compared to a year ago, to $231 million,” said Piscatella. “Year-to-date sales of accessories and game cards are down 3 percent when compared to a year ago, to $2.7 billion.”
Accessories continue to face a tough comparison from when fans were rushing into stores to buy new controllers, headsets, and other peripherals to help with games like Fortnite. The battle royale genre is still massively popular, but it doesn’t measure up to the glory days of 2018.
But when players do show up to buy accessories, they are usually showing up for a shiny new PS4 controller.
“The PS4 DualShock 4 Electric Purple Gamepad was the best-selling accessory of October 2019 by dollar sales,” said Piscatella. “The PS4 DualShock 4 Black Gamepad remains the best-selling accessory of 2019 year to date.”