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Nintendo’s bank account is still growing in 2020. The company’s Switch console sales saw a huge year-over-year increase, and that led the system to outsell the aging Xbox One and PlayStation 4. But the Nintendo Switch outperformed its competition on a historical level as well by generating record revenue and systems sales, according to industry-tracking firm The NPD Group.
“Hardware spending increased 37% in August 2020 when compared to a year ago, to $229 million,” NPD analyst Mat Piscatella said. “Nintendo Switch set a new U.S. August hardware dollar sales record, besting the August 2008 dollar sales of the Nintendo Wii. Nintendo Switch unit sales volume more than doubled when compared to a year ago.”
This is obviously good news for Nintendo. Gaming fans are still rushing to pick up the system thanks to its strong software library including The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and Super Mario Odyssey. These games continue to sell and they continue to sell the Switch even as Nintendo first-party releases have slowed down slightly due to the pandemic. You can read about the NPD’s August software report here.
But this is also good news for Microsoft and Sony.
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“Year-to-date spending on hardware increased 23% when compared to a year ago, to $2 billion,” Piscatella said.
Consumers are still hungry to buy hardware even as the economy continues to suffer during the pandemic in the U.S. While you and I may struggle to buy new consoles, a large group of Americans have plenty of cash and few options for spending it. This should ensure that the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 will perform well this holiday.
While Nintendo Switch dominated hardware, accessories set their own record
If you want more evidence that people are still willing to spend money on gaming-related products, look to the accessories category.
“Spending on accessories reached an August record of $166 million, increasing 42% when compared to a year ago,” Piscatella said. “Year-to-date spending gained 26% to an all-time high of $1.4 billion.”
Few people remain who want a console and haven’t already purchased an Xbox One or PlayStation 4. But that audience is ready and waiting for next-gen. And really — they aren’t even waiting. They are spending their entertainment budget upgrading their current gaming setups with new gamepads and headsets.
“Gamepad, headset/headphone, and steering wheel spending each set new August and year-to-date U.S. sales records,” Piscatella said. “The PS4 DualShock 4 Wireless Controller Black was the best-selling accessory of August, while the Xbox Elite Series 2 Wireless Controller remained the best-selling accessory year to date.”
Outside of the first-party platform companies, Turtle Beach and Logitech were among August’s big winners.
“The best-selling headset of both August, as well as 2020 year to date, was the Xbox One Ear Force Recon 70 Gaming Headset – Black from Turtle Beach,” Piscatella said. “The Logitech G920 Driving Force Racing Wheel for Xbox One was the best-selling steering wheel in August 2020, as well as year to date.”
Microsoft and Sony have both confirmed that most current accessories will work on Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5. The DualShock 4, however, will not work with PS5 games.
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