For the UK, last week was one of the most important and highest-earning weeks of the year for the gaming industry, with more than one million physical games being sold. As GamesIndustry.biz reports, however, this seemingly impressive number is actually 20% down on Black Friday 2019.
Last year, UK gaming fans picked up 1.3 million boxed games across the same seven-day period, meaning this year was a little disappointing in comparison. Of course, there are plenty of factors which will have influenced this, with high street stores being closed due to the pandemic and a trend which saw plenty of retailers kicking off their Black Friday deals early.
Despite this drop in sales for the industry as a whole, though, Switch sales actually saw a boost this year. With PS5 and Xbox Series X|S mostly unavailable, and thanks to a relative lack of interest in their last-generation counterparts, Nintendo had an opportunity to dominate with new console stock and tempting bundles.
GamesIndustry.biz notes that physical Switch game sales were up 33% during Black Friday week when compared to the week before, and that Switch titles accounted for more than 38% of all boxed games during the week. In fact, 9% more Switch games were sold during this Black Friday than throughout last year's event, a decent increase year-on-year despite the drop for gaming as a whole.
It's looking increasingly likely that Nintendo will soon be posting some seriously impressive numbers once the holiday season is done and dusted; just last week, Switch console shipping data revealed that 'crazy' records look set to be broken in the US, too.
This can't be real, some troll on a Nintendo fan site told me that Switch sales would take an immediate nosedive once PS5 and Xbox Series S/X came out.
@IronMan30 But if it was on the internet, it must be true.
If it means more games, content, and continued overall fun then I’m definitely happy for the positive sales trend. I have the console so please keep supplying me with awesome games to play.
@IronMan30 I can't imagine why that prediction failed! Maybe to many incredible new exclusives and customers can't chose what to pick? Or more consoles avaible than demand and everyone has 2 or 3 already? Hmm...
@IronMan30 I’d say they would stay steady or even spike because new consoles always have teething issues that put people off the system.
The game sales during Black Friday might not be doing well because most people already own the games they want.
Seems crazy how Sony stepped aside and gave Nintendo an open goal with the Switch. By rights a Vita-successor should have launched by now to compete for all our lovely handheld moolah, but even if they did release one now, who would commit to it after the desertion act on the Vita?
@gcunit They've been killing it in the home console market so it probably makes more sense to focus on the area where they're strongest rather than splitting resources and development costs in trying to also compete with Nintendo in their element. I think both companies would be pretty happy with how things are going at the moment.
How many miliseconds did it take for the Aldi Black Friday Switch deal to sell out? My sister tried to get onto their website at about 11.30pm at which time there was a queue of over 5,000 people. When she finally got to the front of the queue (just after midnight) they were all gone. That aside I haven't actually seen many gaming deals that have made me want to part with my cash.
@IronMan30 Well of course it won't. The X Box Series X and the PS5 are in its innovation phase of adoption, while the Switch is somewhere in the majority phase. It just makes sense that they wouldn't be doing as well to an established product that's still in high demand. Whoever told you that needs to retake their business classes.
edit: link in case anyone is interested:
@Yas Hmmm...you make a solid point. I guess I don't know what to think because all of the information is contradictory. AAAAHHHH!!!
@Samuel-Flutter Trust me, I don't put stock in what trolls say. Most rational people knew it would continue selling for a variety of reasons.
@DanTheSausage Meh, I can agree with that. In any case, people just don't seem to want to admit that Nintendo can still succeed while Sony and MS do well. It's impossible for them to comprehend that concept.
@BenAV While no corporate executive myself, I dare imagine the handheld market as being NOT just about competition, but about expanding the audience reach in the world where mobility and portability have long become part of everyone's lives (pandemic interludes notwithstanding). Sony is just ultra sour after Vita sales (which they seem to blame on anyone but themselves), but perhaps the Switch's success will turn their heads back. They have a better credit in the sphere than they admit - PSP "failed" to compete with NDS sales yet still raked up 81 million units that even 3DS - basically a more powerful DS successor that plays most of the DS library to boot - hasn't managed to hit. And like I often say, it's Sony handhelds that I firmly associate with most imaginative and interesting Sony games, be it LocoRoco and Patapon on PSP or Gravity Rush and Tearaway on Vita.
Remote Play, too - Sony's clearly not giving it up, but come on, would a dedicated machine with updated controls - heck, maybe even "just" a legacy machine designed and marketed to run PS1/PSP/Vita AND [a selection of] PS2 titles in general, - not be a much better option for PS5 and PS4 experiences on the go than trying to strap DualShock to a smartphone and praying for the iOS/Android app to behave? From the biased customer perspective, it can be less about giving Nintendo a free goal and more about leaving potential extra earnings on the table.
But then again, Ryan & Co may simply not believe they'll earn significant extra from the likes of me - just like I don't believe Nintendo would earn significant extra from what folks are clamouring for a $500 4K "Switch Pro".
@IronMan30 People have wanted Nintendo to fail and go third party for a very long time. Even see a fair few get upset that it was Sega who dropped out the hardware race and not Nintendo. There has and always will be a massive grudge against Nintendo, more so when they succeed.
@nhSnork There is no real need for Sony to ever consider handhelds again. The future is, given time, streaming which can be done from anyone’s phone (apart from iPhones) so why spend money creating dedicated hardware, spending money on creating a flow of software, marketing etc in a market where Nintendo dominates and is to eventually be overtaken by streaming?
@FragRed Yep. It's been 20 years or so since Sega dropped out of the console race and even today, there are people opining that Nintendo should go third-party. Of course, I think it's as much to do with them wanting to buy Nintendo games without buying a Nintendo system as it does them being salty about Sega going third-party instead of the Big N. You can tell a lot of the haters just want a third-party Nintendo to play Nintendo games without buying Nintendo systems because they'll talk crap about Nintendo games and then talk about how great it would be to play Zelda on PS4/5.
@IronMan30 I'm a big Nintendo fan and have had every console since the Snes (went master system over Nes lol) but part of me would love to see Nintendo go Third Party.
I only bought a Switch to play Nintendo games (and had to buy a second so my Mrs can play Animal crossing on her own island) as I find the hardware severely lacking for Third Party support. Given how few games Nintendo actually release nowadays having a designated console for 2-3 games a year is crazy.
I would love to see what Nintendo could do with games like Zelda without the limitations of the switch (especially after playing God of War, which is my favourite "Zelda" style game this generation). Imagine a Metroid Prime that can run at 60fps+, utilised ray tracing and other enhanced techniques- the chance of exploring those environments as Samus would be something else (instead of the last gen visuals in a prom dress we are going to get from 4).
@ChaosBadger777 Since we're dealing in hypotheticals, wouldn't a Nintendo console that's as powerful as a PS5/Series X do the same thing you're talking about? Third-parties supposedly don't support Nintendo consoles for 2 reasons: 1) "Power" 2) Their games don't sell as well on Nintendo consoles as they do competitors. Wouldn't a more powerful console from Nintendo alleviate much of that problem, along with a more willing fan base to buy third-party games?
@ChaosBadger777 If Nintendo dropped out of consoles their games and world would lose a lot of their charm. And they don't have the dev budgets or staff sizes to implement any graphics like that. They have barely adapted to 1080p "HD" development as-is, which is why they release so few games. Moving into the graphical arms race would bury them rapidly. Their entire creative business process revolves around their closed ecosystem. If they ever went that route, they'd still be selling "last gen graphics in a prom dress" games, not raytraced graphically focused games.
Heck, look at Atlus, their big stuff on Playstation are games that also came to PS3.... or Falcom who's games could have been on PS3 (or Switch...which they are...) along with PS4. Companies can be fine selling "last gen graphics" on a big system if the game design is good.
@IronMan30 That's a lie!
Self-respecting Sega fans buy Xboxes. The PS Sega fans are posers.
@IronMan30 @ChaosBadger777 Nintendo would never leave the hardware race entirely even in some bizarre world where they did for some reason find themselves going third party. You can guarantee they would create controllers or accessories to the PlayStation and Xbox consoles that are required for their games. It's how they would roll.
@IronMan30 i would love a more powerful console but unfortunately Nintendo refuse to sell hardware at a loss and make up the difference on software sales. A Nintendo console comparable to the XsX or PS5 would price themselves out of the market which is why the use older tech - its cheaper.
@NEStalgia they have become less creative this gen in regards to software - there was really only Labo that took a risk on and that failed.
@FragRed to be honest I would be happy if Nintendo focused on the handheld market with their exclusives and Sony the home consoles.
@NEStalgia Imagine MS actually buying Sega. I do agree with your half-joke that Sega fans bought into Xbox because I was a Sega kid and own an Xbox One (not a PS4).
@ChaosBadger777 I'm just saying for argument's sake, what I think should happen ends up playing out similar to what you think should happen. The big difference is Nintendo remains in the hardware business. The big similarity is that neither are happening anytime soon, if ever. You're rolling with it and so am I, we just have different reasons for doing so.
@FragRed I don't think Nintendo will leave the hw business. That's the reason I'm arguing from the standpoint of a hypothetical situation where people swear they don't want Nintendo to go third-party at least in part for the reasons I outlined. Few of them will just outright say they don't want to buy a Nintendo console (or another console, in general) to play Nintendo games, but that's generally the conclusion (or an implication) of their argument if you continue the logic.
@ChaosBadger777 Agreed. Though I think that's a symptom of the same problem (coupled to a risk-averse new management of bean counters - and I expect to be seeing the same from Sony who's new management shares a similar philosophy....) - but for Nintendo it's clear they still haven't figured out HD development and are still trying to work with the same sized teams they used to have and contracting everything else out, meaning they need to keep everything very simple and basic so as to be able to farm it all out effectively to external companies, while spending much of their time just making all the graphical details come together without being able to to off the deep end in gameplay like they used to. Their creativity on consoles died on the Wii, but thrived on 3DS. Now that they're all HD, we see this very visible bottleneck. I do think they'll get past that. But they do it slowly, at Nintendo-pace.
Part of it, though, is exactly what the western AAAs keep complaining about. As budgets go up, no game can ever fail, so every game has to just recycle the same game over and over to guarantee success. Of course Nintendo budgets don't come close to those, but in their minds its the same philosophy.
But it's all down to management. Iwata was a creative and a risk taker. Miyamoto lives at the edge. Furukawa has no goal other than quarterly increases and investor smiles. Same for Jim Ryan at PS - gone are Hirai and House, the risk-takers. Time for the bean counter to guarantee 15% YoY increases! Weirdly it's MS I have my eyes on for creativity for a few years. They're in that risk-taking phase. We've got truly weird gems like Battletoads and some surprise amazement like Ori. And failures like Crackdown. Nintendo will get back to risk taking at some point, but only when Switch shows signs of faltering in sales. Sony's just entering their risk-averse period....I expect one of the bleakest time periods for them with nothing but sequels for years.
Switch software sales increasing YoY during Black Friday week shows that the lack of a massive blockbuster on the scale of Pokemon or Smash Bros ultimately didn't matter too much in the end.
And of course, the launch of PS5 and XBS hasn't hurt Switch sales at all, as anyone with common sense would have expected.
@NEStalgia I think it's more a case of Nintendo enjoying the fruits of their risk taking lol! They have hardly become formulaic and predictable...unlike MS and SONY. (and don't nobody read that as hating MS and SONY either)
@GrailUK Well, with their main software they're formulaic and predictable at this point if we we look at first party Switch output thus far.
OTOH if we're talking about MK Live.....that's another thing
@FragRed I literally discussed why create dedicated hardware - non-dedicated hardware is a hassle, especially smartphones which have long been impairing their gaming functionality with their progressive allergy to physical buttons. Holder-equipped, let alone joycon-like Android gamepads are bound to cost more than standard PC ones to begin with, but Sony's phone/PC RP prefers you to use the native DualShock anyway, and that's even more of a headache (my friend has actually tried it, with most underwhelming results). As for "the future of streaming", it needs to be given starkly varying amounts of time per region - Japan and South Korea are pretty much there, America and Europe aren't, and second world like Belarus here still has phone users manually switch the data network preference to 3G for higher speeds and connectivity - it's almost like our 4G has been deteriorating rather than improving over the four years (yes, we only got 4G in 2016) since its advent. Streaming future is one heck of a pipe dream because it's one format whose quality and adequate userbase coverage remains largely out of the VG industry's hands - it's all about ISPs around the world and their respective hijinks.
So there's an arguable need for dedicated hardware but, like I also hypothesized above, nor even necessarily a need for "a flow of software" - just make a redesigned and slightly souped-up Vita, slap something up to the blatant "PlayStation Legacy" on it, position it as the "old content from three or four consoles + streaming the newer content released for two more" and you're covering the market slice for your titular legacy as well as fishing for extra audiences who wouldn't buy a PS5 otherwise. All for perhaps not that much more effort than dishing out that "PS Classic" took.
All of this isn't anything one would envision Sony as desperate to attempt - but something they could be motivated to attempt one day. For the number of aforementioned reasons.
@NEStalgia on the contrary: Splatoon, Arms, Ring-fit Adventure, etc...creativity is still active at Nintendo. They are more fiscally responsible than Microsoft or Sony, but they have room for games to underperform because of that and are still taking big risks.
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