Another month has passed, which means we now have another fresh sales report from the NPD to look at. As it turns out, the September 2021 report, which contains game hardware and software sales data for the US, has revealed that Sony’s PlayStation 5 was the best-selling system for the month. This formally brings an end to the 33-month streak that the Nintendo Switch had since 2018.
The PS5 has taken the crown in not only unit sales, but also dollar sales for the month. Meanwhile, the Switch still retains the lead for year-to-date unit sales.
So, why the shift in power? Well, for once, the trends are easy to recognize. For one, PS5 units have been more readily available compared to the several months of drought its experienced since launch. On top of that, the holiday shopping season is about to begin, and September is usually the soft kick-off for that. Thirdly, Nintendo announced the Switch OLED back in the summer. This may very have likely contributed temporary drop in sales as shoppers awaited the new model.
US NPD HW – PlayStation 5 was the best-selling hardware platform of September in both units and dollars. PlayStation 5 is the best-selling hardware platform of 2021 year-to-date in dollars, while Nintendo Switch leads in units.
— Mat Piscatella (@MatPiscatella) October 18, 2021
A new sales king, but for how long?
Even though the Switch has been pushed out of its position for now, the rest of the year still has the potential to pick things back up. There’s no telling if the unit shortage will hit the PS5 yet again once the aforementioned high demand of the holiday shopping season really goes full tilt. Additionally, the arrival of the Switch OLED is bound to spike sales for at least the next few months.
That said, there’s still the fact of the matter that the PS5 (and the new Xbox Series consoles) are the “new hotness”, as the kids would say. The Switch will soon cross into its fifth year on the market, which tends to be the beginning of the twilight years for most consoles. Thus, at some point in the next year or so, business for the Switch is bound to start showing a noticeable decline. That hasn’t happened yet in terms of either sales or games development, but the gulf between the next-gen consoles and the Switch will unavoidably increase as more time passes. Even so, with the Switch sprinting ever closer to the 100+ million mark, it will still end its days as one of the best-selling videogame consoles of all time.