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Switch Best-Selling Console in the US in December, Xbox Series X|S Outsells PS5

Switch Best-Selling Console in the US in December, Xbox Series X|S Outsells PS5 - Sales

by William D'Angelo , posted on 18 January 2022 / 4,971 Views

The Nintendo Switch was the best-selling console in the US in December 2021 in terms of unit sales, according to figures from NPD. NPD includes the dates for the five week period of November 28, 2021 through January 1, 2022.

The Xbox Series X|S was the second best-selling console, while PS5 came in third. The Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 5 were essentially tied in terms of dollar sales.

The Nintendo Switch is the best-selling console in 2021 in terms of units sold and dollar sales.

"Nintendo Switch was December 2021's best-selling hardware platform in units sold, while Switch and PlayStation 5 effectively tied for dollar sales leadership in the month," said NPD analyst Mat Piscatella. "Nintendo Switch led 2021 hardware in both unit and dollar sales."

Overall spending on video games decreased one percent year-over-year from $7.63 billion to $7.55 billion. Year-to-date spending increased eight percent compared to 2020 from $56.06 billion to $60.40 billion.

"December 2021 consumer spending across video game hardware, content and accessories fell 1% when compared to a year ago, to $7.5 billion," said Piscatella. "2021 consumer spending reached a record $60.4 billion, 8% higher when compared to 2020."

He added, "December growth in subscription and recurrent spending across PC, console, VR and mobile platforms offset declines in premium game sales to keep content spending flat vs YA. Hardware (down 3%) and accessory (down 9%) spending fell in December 2021 when compared to December 2020."

Overall spending on hardware decreased three percent year-on-year to from $ 1.36 billion to $1.32 billion. Year-to-date spending on hardware has increased 14 percent compared to 2020 from $5.33 billion to $6.06 billion.

"December video game hardware dollar sales declined 3% when compared to December 2020, to $1.3 billion," said Piscatella. "Despite the December declines, full-year 2021 hardware spending reached $6.1 billion, gaining 14% compared to 2020."

Spending on video game content in December 2021 is up less than one percent year-over-year from $5.729 billion to $5.734 billion. Year-to-date spending on content has increased seven percent from $48.12 billion to $51.69 billion.

Spending on video game accessories is down nine percent in December 2021 to $493 million, while year-to-date spending is up two percent to $2.65 billion. The Xbox Elite Series 2 Wireless Controller was the best-selling accessory during the month od December.

"December 2021 spending on video game accessories declined 9% when compared to a year ago, to $493 million. 2021 sales of accessories totaled $2.7 billion, an increase of 2% when compared to a year ago," said Piscatella.

Call of Duty: Vanguard was the best-selling game in the US in December 2021 on the overall charts and PlayStation charts, and is in second on the Xbox charts. It is also the best-selling game of 2021.

"Call of Duty: Vanguard was December's best-selling game," said Piscatella. "Call of Duty ranked as the best-selling video game franchise in tracked dollar sales for a record 13th consecutive year."

Halo: Infinite debuted in second on the overall charts for the month and first on the Xbox charts. 

"Halo: Infinite debuted as the #2 best-selling game of December 2021," said Piscatella. "Halo: Infinite ranked as the December's best-selling game on Xbox platforms, while also leading sales among tracked titles on PC."

Pokémon Brilliant Diamond/Shining Pearl remained in third place in its second month and first on the Nintendo charts.

"Pokémon Brilliant Diamond/Shining Pearl was the 3rd best-selling title of December 2021, ranking 1st on Nintendo platforms for both Dec as well as 2021," said Piscatella. "2021 dollar sales of Pokémon franchise physical software reached its highest annual total since the year 2000."

Here are the top 20 best-selling games in terms of dollars for December 2021:

Top 10 best-selling Nintendo games for December 2021:

Top 10 best-selling PlayStation games for December 2021:

Top 10 best-selling Xbox games for December 2021:


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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8 Comments
aTokenYeti (on 18 January 2022)

Halo infinite debuting at #2 and gamepass crossing 25 million subs caps off an excellent 2021 for Microsoft. Given that the multiplayer is free, Infinite must have done monster numbers in total player count

  • +7
Doctor_MG (on 18 January 2022)

It's a bit sad that Switch lost September, otherwise their NPD streak would have continued until probably February or March (I'm assuming Horizon will give PS5 a good boom if they can manufacture them).

Still, they hold a heck of a record, and are still performing very well.

  • +3
SvenTheTurkey Doctor_MG (on 18 January 2022)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but they lost the dollar sales streak. The switch took September in terms of units, right? Or did Sony have that many ps5s/people were waiting for the oled in September?

  • 0
Kakadu18 SvenTheTurkey (on 19 January 2022)

The PS5 was higher in dollar sales a few times last year, but in unit sales the Switch lost in September.

  • 0
Kakadu18 (on 18 January 2022)

PS5 and Switch being tied in dollar sales despite XBS selling more than PS5 shows how much the XBSS sold.

  • 0
siebensus4 Kakadu18 (on 18 January 2022)

We have to keep in mind that Switch had 3 models out there: Switch Lite for 199, Switch for 299 and the OLED model for 349. All 3 cost less than PS5, but the OLED model costs more than XBSS. There were also a few bundles available.

  • 0
Mandalore76 Kakadu18 (on 18 January 2022)

Yep, the Series S is $200 cheaper than PS5 and $50 cheaper than an OLED Switch.

  • +1
Vertigo-X Mandalore76 (on 18 January 2022)

$200 cheaper than the disc-based PS5, $100 cheaper than the disc-less PS5.

  • +1