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Holiday 2020 Sales Predictions - PS5 & XSX to Set Launch Records, Switch Best-Selling Console

Holiday 2020 Sales Predictions - PS5 & XSX to Set Launch Records, Switch Best-Selling Console - Sales

by William D'Angelo , posted on 03 January 2021 / 6,588 Views

Now that we are in November the holiday shopping season is slowly starting up, but will take off next week with the launch of the next-generation consoles, the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5, as well as the release of several highly-anticipated AAA titles. 

In this article, I (William D'Angelo) will be revealing my predictions for the 2020 holiday season.

The PlayStation 5 will set the record for the biggest launch in video game history, while the Xbox Series X and S will take second place for the biggest launch. 

The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X and S will be sold out through the holiday season and will have strong demand through at least early 2021. 

Holiday 2020 Sales Predictions - PS5 and Xbox Series X|S to Set Launch Records, Switch Best-Selling Console

The Nintendo Switch will be the best-selling console for the holiday season with sales of over 10 million units in November and December combined.

Due to such strong sales, the Switch will outsell the lifetime sales of the Nintendo 3DS, which has sold just under 76 million units. 

Lifetime PlayStation 4 sales will just miss outselling the Game Boy, which sold 118.69 million units lifetime. However, the PS4 will surpass the Game Boy in early 2021. 

Lifetime Xbox One sales will surpass the SNES by the end of November, while it has a decent chance of crossing the 50 million mark before the end of December.

Call of Duty will once again take the crown for the best-selling game with the release of Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War on November 13.

Cyberpunk 2077, despite all the delays, will be the second-bestselling game this holiday season.

Cyberpunk 2077 Sales Prediction

The number of people subscribed to Xbox Game Pass and other subscription services will continue to grow to new records. Xbox Game Game Pass, which recently surpassed 15 million subscribers, will top 20 million with a chance to reach 25 million. 

Stay tuned to VGChartz as we release our hardware sales estimates for the Xbox Series X and S, and PlayStation 5, and report on all official software sales. 


A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. You can contact the author at wdangelo@vgchartz.com or on Twitter @TrunksWD.


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35 Comments
YanisFromFrance (on 02 November 2020)

I personally believe, the Nintendo Switch will be the best-selling console between 2020 and 2022 before giving way to the PS5.

  • +12
siebensus4 (on 03 November 2020)

I completely agree with your thoughts.

  • +7
UnderwaterFunktown (on 02 November 2020)

I assume by biggest launch you mean launch week specifically? If so I agree with pretty much everything here.

  • +5
trunkswd UnderwaterFunktown (on 02 November 2020)

Yes, launch week.

  • +2
xMetroid (on 03 November 2020)

I think Switch can manage to sell more then 10 million units between Nov-Dec this year. Maybe like 11-12 actually.

  • +4
UnderwaterFunktown xMetroid (on 04 November 2020)

It's gonna be very difficult to ship enough Switches for that, but we'll see.

  • 0
AFattyGamer (on 02 November 2020)

Hmmm...

  • +2
NextGen_Gamer (on 03 November 2020)

Totally agree. One question for VGChartz and others: how long do you expect MS to keep the Xbox One S in circulation? Almost right after they announced the Xbox Series X at $499, they discontinued the Xbox One X (also still MSRP $499) - which makes total sense. But now, the Xbox Series S/Xbox One S are also still technically the same MSRP $299 (I realize most retailers sell the One S below that already though). Does it make any sense to keep the One S around after this year? Just have a fire-sale at $199 for Black Friday and let the stock run out?

  • 0
2zosteven (on 03 November 2020)

I'm sure the PS5 and Series X/S will both completely sell out at launch and whoever can get the most inventory out will set the record?

  • 0
EpicRandy (on 02 November 2020)

I'm predicting 20m Game Pass subs on or shortly after Black Friday and 25M by the end of the year.

  • 0
YanisFromFrance (on 02 November 2020)

For once in France sales of Nintendo Switch / PS5 and XSX are screwed up. France has decided to stop sales of video games during our 4-week lockdown

  • 0
SuperNintend0rk YanisFromFrance (on 02 November 2020)

Damn that sucks! I assume it's just retail sales that they've stopped so at least you can still buy them online.

  • +2
heavenmercenary01 YanisFromFrance (on 03 November 2020)

Only retail, Still being sold online. It will be fine since consoles did extremely well during the lockdown of march. Stocks were the issue which won't be a problem this time.

  • 0
ReclusiveExclusive (on 02 November 2020)

PS5 will outsell the Switch and Series X easily. The main issue Sony has is trying to meet supply and demand due to PS5 unprecedented hype. Hence why Nintendo could outsell the Sony potentially for the 2020 Holiday. 2020 late - 2021 early and onward I say PS5 will be the best selling console. Rumored Sony is already considering moving the release date up for PS5 in the Europe region due pandemic lockdown right now. Good article.

  • -8
Bofferbrauer2 ReclusiveExclusive (on 02 November 2020)

I think you're a bit too optimistic here. I really doubt the PS5 would sell 12M at launch and 25M+ in it's first full year. Because that's what it's gonna need to compete with the Switch, let alone outsell it.

  • +7

Not optimistic mate. Just being realistic here. And PS5 will have the biggest launch in video game history. Jim Ryan stated PS5 pre-orders did what PS4 pre-orders did in 12 hours compared to PS4's 3 month timeframe. That says everything for me. If Sony meets 2021 demand, PS5 can easily do 25+ million it's 1st year. I don't know if Sony can meet production to do that but we'll see. If anything, for Nintendo, Holiday 2020 this is only time I see the Switch outselling the PS5. Sony launching their 9th gen system during a worldwide pandemic and another Europe covid-lockdown is lucky for Nintendo.

  • -8
Kakadu18 ReclusiveExclusive (on 02 November 2020)

No console ever sold 20 million or more in it's first year, that is completely unrealistic because many people wait untill the library is bigger before getting one. The Switch is selling like insane, but in it's launchyear it got easily outsold by the PS4 and that will most likely happen again, I think the Switch will be the bestselling console in 2021 and if it gets enough first-party stuff maybe also in 2022 before the PS5 will be king on the market. It was similar with the PS4 back then, which basically stopped being the best selling console at the end of 2018. So holiday 2022 might be when PS5 takes over for good. There's no possible way the PS5 outsells the Switch this year or next year also because of the stock shortages.

  • +8

Then why do I see Nintendo gamers saying the Switch will do 25 or 30+ million in a year then? This argument goes both ways mate. PS4 is still doing well for a console that is 7 years old and getting cross gen support from Sony and support regardless for another 3 or 4 years. PS5 is launching with the biggest line-up we've seen in PlaySation history. Spider-Man Miles Morales, Sackboy, and Ratchet and Clank Rift Apart. Those 3, 1st party games alone will proper PS5 sales more insanely than it already is. Sony has already teased a new God Of War for next year and Sony has been quiet for their other big 1st party games for 2021. Only reason Nintendo wins Holiday 2020 is due to Sony having supply and demand issues and launching during a worldwide pandemic. If Sony meets the production for Holiday 2021 and throughout 2021, no way Nintendo outsells Sony. 2021 and Holiday 2021 onward Sony takes back the sales like they do usually. I might give Nintendo the rest of 2020 though.

  • -7
Bofferbrauer2 ReclusiveExclusive (on 02 November 2020)

You see Nintendo predictions of 25-30M+ consoles because the Switch is, at this point, tracking ~8M in front of last year's sales at the same time. Since the Switch sold 19.3M times last year, we're already at about 27M if holiday sales would stay the same. But most probably, they will go up compared to last year, so 30M or even more are not impossible. So from there, dropping far below 25M sales for next year seems a bit much, so most 2021 Switch predictions are around that number.

PS4 is not doing exceptional for a 7 year old console; PS3 was even slightly better at the same point of time. The 360 was even just somewhat below in it's 8th year and sold over 170k in it's 7th one.

PS4 preorders opened up much earlier, hence why it took longer for the amount to rack up since many preorder only shortly before release. So it's not even guaranteed the PS5 preorders are really on the same level as the PS4 levels if they didn't precise it. And while it has some great games at release, that's still just a small amount of games and don't match everybody's tastes.

Finally, you seem to forget that Microsoft is doing some actual competition this time around, unlike last launch here the One was just the butt of jokes. So they certainly will steal some sales, too, especially with Gamepass being a pretty big success for them.

  • +5

Mate I never said the PS4 was doing expectational I said it's still doing 'alright' for a console that isn't in its prime anymore and is in the last stages of its life. Like I see Nintendo gamers being hyped 9th gen Switch is outselling 8th gen PS4 when 8th gen is over now. Seriously? That's like comparing LeBron in his prime to Micheal Jordan in his late years.

2017 and 2018 when PS4 was in its prime and PS5 wasn't on the horizon, PS4 still held over 50% market share over Switch and Xbox One. It took till2019 and 2020 for the Switch to take market share over when PS4 was on its way out and Sony was gearing up for PS5. Again I don't even like comparing Switch and PS4 cause it's 9th gen vs 8th gen. The Switch's actual competition the PS5 is now here.

PS4 pre-orders opened up earlier and PS5's pre-orders were spontaneous. People had time to plan ahead for PS4's and in 12 hours Jim Ryan himself said PS5 surpassed that. 3 months of pre-order time vs 12 hours. You do the math on that and act like PS5 isn't going crush everything on a year to year same alignment basis.

Microsoft? Competition? No diss to Xbox but Series X has no big Holiday launch line up game to compete with PS5. Halo: Infinite delayed till god knows when. What 1st Party game does Microsoft have this year for the Series X that will compete Spider Man Miles Morales? Gamepass? Sony already stated they don't need a Gamepass model this gen cause their games sell extremely well enough as it is. Be that physically or digitally. Sony is starting off this gen correctly. This won't be a failed PS3 launch situation where 360 and PS3 sales are going to be neck and neck.

Not sure if people follow VGChartz only for the news but if you step outside of VGChartz and do some YouTube videos, or press release statements by companies, the hype for PS5 is real. It says a lot on Sony's part that even launching during a worldwide pandemic, PS5 is still going to do record numbers the industry has never seen before. Makes me think those analyst predicting 150-200 million lifetime sold for PS5 aren't off the mark with that.

And Sony makes games for everyone's taste. They don't stick with one style and call it a day. They have ambitious 1st party studios. And If you don't like Sony 1st party, that's why Sony is securing up the 3rd party deals. 3rd parties sold better on Sony's platform last gen and soon to be this gen for a reason.

  • -4
javi741 ReclusiveExclusive (on 04 November 2020)

Nintendo fans aren't hyping up the Switch's sales cause its outselling a 7 year old PS4, they're hyping it up because its currently outpacing a PS4 system that sold 113M units within the same timeframe since launch.

Also like said above, literally no system sold 20Million in their first year, I think the peak first year for a system might've been the Switch which was around 17M in its first year. That number is still ways away from 20 Million, so to believe the PS5 will sell 25 Million in its first year is nonsensical, especially when the console market is now dead in Japan. There has been a lot of hype of the PS5, but Sony hasn't been giving any hard numbers that show the PS5 will outsell the Switch this holiday. The Switch will likely sell 12M+ units this Holiday Season, no way in hell the PS5 will surpass it.

  • +1
javi741 ReclusiveExclusive (on 04 November 2020)

Also not one Playstation console sold 25 Million in one year even during their prime. The highest was the 2003 PS2 which sold 22 Million in its peak, and thats the greatest selling console of all time! To expect the PS5 to do something a Playstation console never been able to do in their prime in the PS5's first year is ridiculous. Especially since the Japan Console market is now dead. For it to happen, Sony needs to get an insane lead over Microsoft in the U.S or sell even more than they are in Europe with numbers so incomprehensible to achieve. Sony won't be as dominant anymore in NA with Xbox now being a legit competitor their, it wasn't like the PS2 or PS1 gens wgere Sony was basically on its own in NA.

  • +1
Kakadu18 ReclusiveExclusive (on 04 November 2020)

javi741, the console market in Japan isn't dead, Playstation is maybe dying there, but the Switch has already outsold the lifetime sales of the Wii in Japan by several million units. Nintendo consoles are doing good there.

  • +1
javi741 ReclusiveExclusive (on 05 November 2020)

Kakadu18 the Switch is seen as more of a handheld in Japan than a console. I'm sure if you take away the Switch's portability the Switch likely would've struggled to hit 10M units in its lifetime as opposed to 30M sold in Japan which is expected. The Wii, despite how successful and huge it was globally, wasn't a major hit in Japan only selling 12 Million compared to the NES and SNES which sold around 20M in Japan despite being far less successful than the Wii globally. By the time the Wii released the console market was already slowly dying in Japan. And now with an insanely successful PS4 not even hitting 10M sold there is showing that the console market is nearly dead over there. The Switch is only successful over there cause its primarily a handheld.

  • 0
SKMBlake (on 02 November 2020)

William, I think your accoutn has been hacked by Michael Pachter

  • -8
trunkswd SKMBlake (on 02 November 2020)

These are my actual predictions for this holiday season. Now as always predictions are just that. They are not guaranteed, but using what information I have available.

What predictions remind you of Michael Pachter?

  • +12
Machina SKMBlake (on 03 November 2020)

@SKMBlake - In what way? Which ones are unreasonable?

  • 0
Amnesia (on 02 November 2020)
  • -16
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