September 2021 NPD: PlayStation 5 outsells Xbox, Switch

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Console hardware is flying off manufacturing lines directly to consumers in the United States. Sony and Microsoft continue to sell every PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X they can produce. But in September, Sony was able to ship enough to outsell the competition. This is the first time either the new Xbox or PlayStation has outsold the Nintendo Switch in terms of units, according to industry-tracking firm The NPD Group. That high demand led to strong hardware sales overall as well as strong software performance.

“September video game hardware dollar sales increased 49% when compared to September 2020, to $412 million,’ said Piscatella. “Year-to-date hardware spending has also gained 49% when compared to the same period a year ago, totaling $3.4 billion.”

As for the PlayStation 5 coming out on top, this is similar to when the Xbox Series X bested the PS5 in July in terms of dollar sales. The company that was able to produce and ship the most consoles was able to then sell the most consoles. Supply is the bottleneck.

“PlayStation 5 was the best-selling hardware platform of September in both units and dollars,” said Piscatella. “PlayStation 5 is the best-selling hardware platform of 2021 year to date in dollars, while Nintendo Switch leads in units.”

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But this does bring an end to Nintendo Switch’s streak at the top of the hardware charts.

“September 2021 snaps the remarkable 33-consecutive-month streak that Nintendo Switch was the market’s leading platform in hardware unit sales,” said Piscatella. “November 2018 was the last month a platform other than Nintendo Switch — [the PS4] — led the market in unit sales.”

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