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The Nintendo Switch dominated hardware sales in the United States throughout 2020. It easily outsold its last-gen competition in the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, and it continues to outperform PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S due to their supply constraints. The hybrid home/handheld Nintendo console was the top hardware of the year as well as December, according to industry-tracking firm The NPD Group.

“Nintendo Switch was the best-selling hardware platform in units and dollars not only in December 2020, but the entire year,” NPD analyst Mat Piscatella said. “Annual dollar sales of Nintendo Switch hardware were the second highest for an individual platform in a single calendar year in U.S. history. Only the 2008 dollar sales of Nintendo Wii were higher.”

PlayStation 5, which is still difficult to find online or at stores, also sold well.

“PlayStation 5 finished 2020 as the No. 2 best-selling console in dollar sales, while PlayStation 4 ranked second in units sold,” said Piscatella. “PlayStation 5 set a new dollar sales record for PlayStation hardware through each PlayStation platform’s first December at retail.”


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Microsoft has said that Xbox Series X/S is the best launch in Xbox history.

But the success of Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft hardware pushed the category to near record highs.

“Hardware dollar sales reached $1.35 billion in December 2020,” said Piscatella. “That’s an increase of 38% when compared to a year ago, and the highest total for a December month since the $1.37 billion achieved in December 2013. Annual hardware dollar sales totaled $5.3 billion, 35% higher than 2019, and the most since $5.6 billion was reached in 2011.”


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