It was just a few years ago that we talked about game consoles with Nintendo’s offering as not even a secondary thought. While PlayStation and Xbox consoles flew off the shelves, the Wii U seemed mostly to be there to hold dust. A few years before that, the PlayStation 3 was an also-ran to the Xbox 360.
Now not only is the Nintendo Switch a contender, it’s taking home the gold, while the Xbox One just gave Microsoft a great month. This news comes via Xbox exec Aaron Greenberg, who tweeted late last week that Microsoft had its “highest Xbox One December console share ever.”
Later, though, he added some additional clarification.
“Xbox outsold PS4 in December for Gen 8 consoles according to NPD data, while Nintendo also had a great month as Switch had most overall units,” Greenberg wrote.
There’s a lot to unpack in there. In Microsoft’s view – and likely Sony’s too – the Switch still isn’t something they’ll consider as competition. It’s doing something pretty different from Sony and Microsoft, admittedly, but the number of big-name ports heading for Switch has certainly shot up in recent months, and I hear a lot more of “I’m waiting for the Switch version” in my Twitter feed and among friends than I did with the Wii U.
As for the Xbox One outselling the PlayStation 4, that’s hardly a surprise for December, as the company’s beefed up Xbox One X released in November and is garnering a lot of attention with games getting new Xbox One X enhancement patches frequently. There’s also the release of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, which, while still in Xbox Game Preview, is certainly selling a few systems among its over 3-million players.
Whether or not Microsoft can keep that going is the bigger question, and historically they haven’t been able to withstand Sony’s huge momentum outside of those big months.
Regardless of which system you pick, you’re entering into a rapidly-growing player base with which to dive into games, so it’s a win no matter which way you lean.