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Switch to Outsell PS5 and Xbox Series X|S in 2021, Predicts NPD Analyst

Switch to Outsell PS5 and Xbox Series X|S in 2021, Predicts NPD Analyst - Sales

by William D'Angelo , posted on 02 April 2021 / 2,374 Views

In November Microsoft and Sony launched their latest consoles, the Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5, and they quickly sold out. Demand remains high for the new consoles in most markets as Microsoft and Sony struggle to meet the demand. 

Despite the high demand for the new consoles, NPD analyst Mat Piscatella speaking with GamesIndustry has predicted the Nintendo Switch will outsell the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S in 2021. He says the release of new games and more promotion for the Switch will be the main driving force rather than the release of a new model.

"Despite the launch of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series consoles, it will be the Nintendo Switch that ends up selling the most units of console hardware in 2021," said Piscatella. "I will go a step further and suggest this will be driven by content and promotional efforts rather than the release of a new iterative model."

Switch to Outsell PS5 and Xbox Series X|S in 2021, Predicts NPD Analyst

Piscatella added that companies that remain flexible will have an advantage in 2021 as he expects the new year to be as unpredictable as 2020 was. 

"This is not much of a quantifiable prediction, but there's little evidence that the coming months will end up being any more predictable than the past year," said Piscatella. "I am expecting more game delays, continued challenges in production and distribution for gaming hardware and peripherals, potential significant shifts in consumer play behaviors given pandemic conditions within countries or regions, and unpredictable impact from changing economic conditions.

"The companies that can best navigate these uncertainties will have an advantage. This is no time to become enamored with a particular plan or timeline."


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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7 Comments
JWeinCom (on 05 January 2021)

Not exactly a bold prediction. Seems like PS5 is too supply constrained to catch the Switch even if the demand was there. That being said, I'm not sure what he's referring to by content. Maybe he knows something we don't, or maybe he's just guessing, but I think BOTW2 is the only major game announced for this year.

  • +1
Shadow1980 (on 09 January 2021)

Globally? Definitely a very high likelihood. There is a good chance the Switch will be down noticeably from 2020 due to its sales last year being inflated by Animal Crossing and the pandemic. However, it's also possible that the PS5 & XS could both be supply constrained for much of 2021, which will hurt their sales, and if they do significantly worse than the PS4 & XBO did in 2014, there's no way their combined sales will exceed that of Switch sales. Breaking it down by region, in Japan it's a given that the Switch will easily retain a supermajority market share. As for Europe and the U.S., it's a bit tougher to call. Given its performance in each market, the Switch is less likely to have majority market share in Europe than in the U.S., though it should still be the #1 system of the year, thus retaining at least a plurality. But in both regions, if the Switch can avoid a massive drop-off from 2020 and/or the PS5 & XS put up performances closer to that of the 360 & PS3 than the PS4 & XBO, then the Switch will likely end up selling better than the PS5 & XS combined.

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snowy4manutd (on 06 January 2021)

Switch numbers should no longer be compared to xbox/playstation. It is now a portable console not a home console

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LivncA_Dis3 (on 06 January 2021)

switch's is already rolling their machine quite nicely,
while ps5 and xbox are only just getting started 2nd year will be a difference maker for both current gen entry!

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AFattyGamer (on 05 January 2021)
  • -5