The Nintendo Switch has been on an absolute tear since launching in March 2017. It became the fastest-selling console ever in its first year, on its way to outselling Nintendo’s projections by a whopping 5 million units. As of March 31, nearly 18 million Switch consoles have been sold worldwide. And now one industry analyst predicts the Switch will accomplish another feat: Outselling the PS4 in 2018.
Matt Piscatella of NPD Group offered up his analysis-based predictions for the upcoming holiday season. Thanks to the Switch’s heavy-hitting fall lineup — namely Pokmon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee!and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate— Piscatella says the Switch will be the best-selling console in the holiday quarter and that fourth-quarter sales will catapult the Switch to the title of best-selling console of the year. That means beating out the presumptive favorite, the PS4, which has consistently outsold the competition (Xbox One) since launch in 2013.
Perhaps what’s most interesting about Piscatella’s projections is that his forecast for the 10 best-selling games doesn’t include a single Nintendo game. He expects Red Dead Redemption 2to be the best-selling game of 2018, followed closely by Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. Battlefield V, NBA 2K19, and Far Cry 5 round out the top five, followed by Madden NFL 19, Fallout 76, God of War, Monster Hunter: World, and Spider-Man.
The lack of Nintendo games in the top 10 suggests that the Switch appeals to gamers for a wide variety of games, not just a single hit.
While the Switch is poised to have a bigger year than its competitors, Piscatella’s projections offered good news for both the PS4 and Xbox One. At the end of the year, the PS4/Xbox One tandem is expected to surpass the pace of PS2/Xbox console sales, while continuing to increase their wide lead over the PS3/Xbox 360 generation. All told, the trio of current-generation consoles look to have the highest combined hardware sales since 2012.
For those who still prefer physical games over their digital counterparts, the number of physical game releases will top last year’s mark by 15 percent and sales of physical games will increase by 8 percent. However, there’s no denying the momentum of digital games, as Piscatella projects another double-digit percentage growth in 2018.