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PS5 Had the Biggest Console Launch Ever in the US, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Best-Seller

PS5 Had the Biggest Console Launch Ever in the US, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Best-Seller - Sales

by William D'Angelo , posted on 01 January 2021 / 5,013 Views

The Nintendo Switch was the best-selling console in the US in November 2020 selling 1.35 million units, outselling the launches of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S, according to figures from NPD. November NPD includes the dates for November 1 through November 28.

The Switch has been the best-selling console for 24 consecutive months, since December 2018, which is the longest streak since NPD started tracking sales numbers. 

The PlayStation 5 had the biggest launch in gaming history in the US, outselling the previous record set by the PlayStation 4. The PS5 in-terms of dollars sold more than the Switch as it is more expensive. The two PS5 editions are available for $399 and $499, while the Switch is available for $199 and $299.

PS5 Had the Biggest Console Launch Ever in the US, Call of Duty: Black Ops: Cold War Best-Seller

"PlayStation 5 was November’s best-selling hardware platform in consumer spending, while Nintendo Switch led the market in units sold," said NPD analyst Piscatella. "Nintendo Switch has been the best-selling hardware platform in units sold for a record 24 consecutive months."

"PlayStation 5 achieved the highest launch month unit and dollar sales for a video game hardware platform in U.S. history," added Piscatella. "The records were previously held by the PlayStation 4, which debuted in November 2013."

Microsoft launched the Xbox Series X|S on November 10 with first month sales below its predecessor the Xbox One. However, it should be noted like with the PS5 it is supply constrained. The consoles also launched in 40 markets, while the Xbox One only launched in 13. 

The team at Xbox previously stated the Xbox Series X|S had the biggest launch in Xbox history.

"Thanks to you, the launch of Xbox Series X|S is now the most successful debut in our history," said team Xbox at the time. "While we missed the emotional spark of being together with you in person, it was incredible to celebrate a new generation of gaming with the millions on our celebration livestream and everyone who participated in our global launch across 40 countries."

Xbox Series X and S Sales

Overall spending on video games increased 35 percent to $6.97 billion in September. Year-to-date spending has increased by 22 percent to $44.47 billion.

Overall spending on hardware increased 58 percent year-on-year to $1.42 billion in November. Year-to-date spending has increased by 34 percent to $3.96 billion. Spending on video game content increased 32 percent year-over-year to $5.24 billion. Year-to-date spending has increased by 21 percent to 38.44 billion.

"November 2020 consumer spending across video game hardware, content, and accessories reached a November record $7 billion, 35% higher when compared to a year ago," Piscatella said. "Year-to-date spending totaled $44.5 billion, 22% higher than the same time period in 2019."

Nintendo accounted for eight of the top 20 best-selling games in November. This includes Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, which debuted in sixth place. 

Black Ops Cold War Sales

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War debuted in first place on the NPD charts for November 2020 and it is already the best-selling game in 2020. It is the 13th straight year a Call of Duty title debuted in first place. 

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War was November’s best-selling game, and instantly becomes the best-selling game of 2020 year-to-date," said Piscatella. "Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War represents 2020’s biggest launch. The title ranks first on both PlayStation and Xbox platforms for the month of November, as well as year to date.

"This is the 13th consecutive year a Call of Duty game has ranked as the best-selling game of its release month."

Assassin's Cred Valhalla Sales

Assassin's Creed Valhalla debuted in second place and is the seventh best-selling game in 2020. It had the biggest launch for the Assassin's Creed franchise since the launch of Assassin’s Creed III in 2012.

"Assassin’s Creed Valhalla debuted as the second best-selling game of November and is the seventh best-selling game year to date," said Piscatella. "Assassin’s Creed Valhalla achieved the highest launch month sales for an Assassin’s Creed franchise title since the release of Assassin’s Creed III in 2012."

Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales debuted in third place and is the second best-selling game on a PlayStation platform. Only Marvel’s Spider-Man had a bigger launch in the US when it comes to superhero games.

"Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales was the third best-selling game of November, while ranking second on PlayStation platforms," said Piscatella. "Launch month sales of Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales are the second-highest amongst superhero games on PlayStation platforms in U.S. history, trailing only the September 2018 sales of Marvel’s Spider-Man."

Spider-Man Miles Morales Sales

Here are the top 20 best-selling games in terms of dollars for November 2020:

1 NEW Call of Duty: Black Ops: Cold War Activision Blizzard (Corp)
2 NEW Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla Ubisoft
3 NEW Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales Sony (Corp)
4 2 Madden NFL 21 Electronic Arts
5 13 NBA 2K21* Take 2 Interactive (Corp)
6 NEW Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity* Nintendo
7 3 Watch Dogs: Legion Ubisoft
8 7 Animal Crossing: New Horizons Nintendo
9 1 FIFA 21 Electronic Arts
10 NEW Demon’s Souls Sony (Corp)
11 11 Mario Kart 8: Deluxe* Nintendo
12 6 Super Mario 3D All-Stars* Nintendo
13 NEW Just Dance 2021 Ubisoft
14 20 New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe* Nintendo
15 26 Luigi’s Mansion 3* Nintendo
16 5 Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit Nintendo
17 15 Super Smash Bros. Ultimate* Nintendo
18 14 Marvel’s Avengers Square Enix Inc (Corp)
19 24 Mortal Kombat 11 Warner Bros. Interactive
20 12 Ghost of Tsushima Sony (Corp)
* Digital sales not included

Here are the lists of top 10 selling games by platform for the month:

Top 10 best-selling Nintendo games for November 2020

Rank Last Month Rank November 2020 Top 10 Games (Physical and Full Game Digital for publishers in the Digital Leader Panel) ranked on dollar sales Publisher
1 NEW Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity* Nintendo
2 3 Animal Crossing: New Horizons* Nintendo
3 4 Mario Kart 8: Deluxe* Nintendo
4 2 Super Mario 3D All-Stars* Nintendo
5 9 New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe* Nintendo
6 NEW Just Dance 2021 Ubisoft
7 12 Luigi’s Mansion 3* Nintendo
8 1 Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit Nintendo
9 5 Super Smash Bros. Ultimate* Nintendo
10 7 The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild* Nintendo
* Digital sales not included

Top 10 best-selling PlayStation games for November 2020

Rank Last Month Rank November 2020 Top 10 Games (Physical and Full Game Digital for publishers in the Digital Leader Panel) ranked on dollar sales Publisher
1 NEW Call of Duty: Black Ops: Cold War Activision Blizzard (Corp)
2 NEW Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales Sony (Corp)
3 NEW Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla Ubisoft
4 2 Madden NFL 21 Electronic Arts
5 NEW Demon’s Souls Sony (Corp)
6 9 NBA 2K21* Take 2 Interactive (Corp)
7 1 FIFA 21 Electronic Arts
8 3 Watch Dogs: Legion Ubisoft
9 4 Ghost of Tsushima Sony (Corp)
10 NEW Sackboy: A Big Adventure Sony (Corp)
* Digital sales not included

Top 10 best-selling Xbox One games for November 2020

Rank Last Month Rank November 2020 Top 10 Games (Physical and Full Game Digital for publishers in the Digital Leader Panel) ranked on dollar sales Publisher
1 NEW Call of Duty: Black Ops: Cold War Activision Blizzard (Corp)
2 NEW Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla Ubisoft
3 3 Madden NFL 21 Electronic Arts
4 2 Watch Dogs: Legion Ubisoft
5 8 NBA 2K21* Take 2 Interactive (Corp)
6 1 FIFA 21 Electronic Arts
7 9 Marvel’s Avengers Square Enix Inc (Corp)
8 6 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Activision Blizzard (Corp)
9 5 Star Wars: Squadrons Electronic Arts
10 4 NHL 21 Electronic Arts
* Digital sales not included

Top 10 best-selling games of 2020 through November 2020

All Platforms
Rank Last Month Rank Year-to-Date Ending November 2020 Top 10 Games (Physical and Full Game Digital from the Nintendo eShop, PlayStation, STEAM and Xbox platforms for publishers in the Digital Leader Panel) ranked on dollar sales Publisher
1 NEW Call of Duty: Black Ops: Cold War Activision Blizzard (Corp)
2 1 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Activision Blizzard (Corp)
3 2 Animal Crossing: New Horizons* Nintendo
4 3 Madden NFL 21 Electronic Arts
5 4 The Last of Us: Part II Sony (Corp)
6 5 Ghost of Tsushima Sony (Corp)
7 NEW Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla Ubisoft
8 6 Final Fantasy VII: Remake Square Enix Inc (Corp)
9 7 Marvel’s Avengers Square Enix Inc (Corp)
10 8 Super Mario 3D All-Stars* Nintendo
* Digital sales not included

Thanks, VentureBeat.


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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3 Comments
KazumaKiryu (on 12 December 2020)

The PlayStation 5 breaks console records, worldwide. And new xbox started worse than xbox one in the USA, spain ect. Interesting :) My Gratulation. And the new PS5 Dualsense-controller is fantastic.

  • +4
Evilms (on 11 December 2020)

Launch US :

PlayStation 5 : 1.14 m ~ 1.35m (November 2020)
PlayStation 4 : 1.14 m (November 2013)
Xbox One : 0.91 m (November 2013)
Switch : 0.906 m (March 2017)
Xbox Series X + S : < 0.91 m (November 2020)
Wii U : 0.43 m (November 2012)

  • +4
AFattyGamer (on 11 December 2020)

Nintendo Switch lead hardware sales while Sony PS5 lead hardware spending and beat the PS4 for biggest console launch in US history. Insane for both sides.

  • +3