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Nintendo Switch and Xbox Series take top slots in US console sales as shortages continue

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Hardware spending is down 38 percent from last year, despite how many people want to buy new consoles

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

We’ve heard you: many of you are still trying to secure a new video game system, and we’ve done what we can to help people find them. But now, a year after the “next-gen” PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, and Xbox Series S consoles debuted, they’re still in short supply — and the same goes for Nintendo’s Switch and Switch OLED.

The retail sales trackers at NPD Group said console hardware sales in November have fallen off by 38 percent to $883 million in November compared to the same month in 2020, which is when the new PlayStation and Xbox launched.

That drop comes despite a still-intense desire to obtain the systems, as well as the availability of a new version of Nintendo’s console. This past November, the Switch still dominated sales, and the data shows that, combined, the new and old versions sold 1.13 million units last month, including 550,000 in the week of Black Friday and Thanksgiving. Just like it was in October, it’s the system people can actually get, and it has topped sales charts for 35 of the last 36 months.

Sony and Microsoft didn’t eagerly uncover detailed sales data, but NPD analyst Mat Piscatella confirmed in a tweet that the Xbox Series family came in second in unit sales. Regular and extended availability of the slightly less powerful and much cheaper Xbox Series S likely explains their position in November and might suggest one way for those interested to get into next-gen gaming, while the chip shortage grinch keeps a tight hold on supplies.


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