Sony's PlayStation 4 might be the best-selling console of its generation, but Nintendo's portable console, the Nintendo Switch, isn't far behind. Nintendo has sold nearly 90 million Switch units since it was launched in 2017. The Switch has gone on to become the best-selling console in the United States for the better part of the past three years - until now.
How well will the PS5 sell in the next few years?
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
NPD analyst Mat Piscatella just revealed how Sony's current-gen console just outsold Nintendo's hybrid console last month, both in terms of dollar amount and unit volume. Because of this, the PS5 has effectively displaced the Switch as the best-selling console in the United States. At the same time, the PS5 also ended the Nintendo Switch's 33-month run. Coincidentally, the last time that the Switch didn't top the sales charts was back in November 2018, when the PS4 outsold all other consoles.
Piscatella did not delve much into the details of what led to the PS5 outselling the Nintendo Switch, but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to make an educated guess.
The PS5 was launched amidst a chip shortage and in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. These two factors affected the availability of the PS5 to the point that most people still have a hard time getting their hands on one today. However, despite the circumstances, Sony still managed to sell 10 million PS5 units in eight months. If the situation was any different, the PS5 could have probably displaced the Nintendo Switch a lot sooner.
Of course, this is all hypothetical. Not to mention, the arrival of the OLED model could have affected Switch sales; consumers might have opted to wait for the new model or wait for the price drop before pulling the trigger on the portable console.
With that said, it will be interesting if the demand for the Nintendo Switch continues. It's been 4 years since the console was launched and it's starting to show its age. It's also set to face more competition going forward, especially with the Steam Deck. On the other hand, the PS5's library is only going to get better, so the demand for the PS5 should only rise - chip shortage be damned.