The Nintendo Switch continues to sell well, but its E3 2018 showing may indicate even better sales than anticipated. NPD industry analyst Mat Piscatella has re-affirmed his prediction that the Nintendo Switch may turn out to be the best-selling console of 2018 due to a surge in the fourth quarter.
In a blog post from the NPD group, Piscatella revisited his predictions for the US industry this year, reaffirming some and making slight revisions to others based on current trends. In his initial analysis, Piscatella thought the Switch to be on-track to be the best-selling console in 2018. That prediction is still true, but Piscatella added in his update that this will be due to a surge of units in Q4 this year fueled by Pokemon: Let's Go! and Super Smash. Bros Ultimate's releases.
Piscatella's analysis didn't stop at the Switch. All three current generation consoles are expected to sell at least four million units this year. Both PS4 and the Xbox One's sales will be ahead of the PS2 and Xbox by 6% at the same point in their lifespans, and 30% ahead of the PS3 and Xbox 360. Total, he expects sales across all platforms console and portable to exceed 17.5 million units. This would be the most total units sold in the US since 2012.
As for software, Piscatella's predictions have Red Dead Redemption 2 narrowly beating Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 in terms of dollar sales, with Battlefield V in third. His predictions for hardware sales don't seem to be influencing the top players in software, though, as no Nintendo Switch exclusive made it into the top 10 sellers. Total, 400 unique physical game releases are predicted for 2018, and software sales are anticipated to grow at least 8%. Digital sales of full games are also expected to grow by double digit percentages.
"This year's holiday video game slate is arguably the best this decade," concludes Piscatella. "Combined with the market phenomenon that is Fortnite, and continued strong momentum for both hardware and accessories & game card sales, double-digit overall market spending growth in 2018 appears likely."