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.
“Year-to-date spending on hardware increased 23 percent when compared to a year ago, to $2 billion,” said Piscatella.
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,” said Piscatella. “Year-to-date spending gained 26 percent 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,” said Piscatella. “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,” said Piscatella. “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.