More than three million games consoles were sold in the UK last year, including over 450,000 PS5 machines, 310,000 Xbox Series consoles and 1.5 million Nintendo Switch devices.
The latest data from charts providers GfK and GSD and released by the Entertainment Retailers Association reveals more in-depth information on the performance of the UK games market during 2020.
The data shows that all three platform holders had a much better year in 2020 compared with the year prior. Xbox One and Xbox Series consoles combined delivered around 600,000 sales, which is up from 500,000 for Xbox One the year before. PS5 and PS4 together delivered around 900,000 sales, which is up on PS4's 700,000 in 2019. Finally, Nintendo Switch dominated with 1.5 million units sold in 2020, up from nearly one million the year prior.
Of course, PS5 and Xbox Series S/X would have sold a lot more if it were not for stock issues (Switch also suffered some moments of stock shortages). PS5 and Xbox delivered strong stock in November, but things were a little quieter in December compared with the launches of PS4 and Xbox One back in 2013.
In total, PS5 delivered £191 million in revenue, while Xbox Series S/X drove £118 million. Switch generated £367.4 million.
One of the more fascinating figures to come out of the yearbook is a look at how the best-selling games performed digitally vs physically. FIFA 21, the best-selling game of the year, was 52% digital while Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War was 69% digital. Yet single-player offline games are still predominantly physical. Assassin's Creed Valhalla was 40% digital, The Last of Us Part 2 just under 37%, and Spider-Man Miles Morales was 32% digital (check out the chart below for the full splits).
In terms of physical game sales, it's not a surprise to see that almost 71% of all games sold were via home delivery, which is to be expected considering the pandemic. High Street stores accounted for nearly 16% of physical sales, while supermarkets were just shy of 14%.
The average price of physical games increased 0.8% in 2020 to £34.42.
For the top line figures on the performance of the games market, click here.
Below is the full breakdown of digital/physical performance. This 2020 chart is courtesy of data firm GSD, and published by ERA.
|No.||Title||Total Sales||Physical Sales||Digital Sales||Digital Split|
|2||Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War||1,528,985||472,590||1,056,395||69.1%|
|3||Grand Theft Auto 5||1,248,608||314,129||934,479||74.8%|
|5||Call of Duty: Modern Warfare||899,921||330,650||569,271||63.3%|
|6||Animal Crossing: New Horizons||810,535||810,535||No Data||N/A|
|7||Assassin's Creed Valhalla||693,367||415,533||277,834||40.1%|
|8||The Last of Us: Part 2||543,218||344,291||198,927||36.6%|
|10||Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Siege||455,705||36,002||419,703||92.1%|
|11||Red Dead Redemption 2||436,841||137,930||298,911||68.4%|
|12||Mario Kart 8: Deluxe||427,667||427,667||No Data||N/A|
|13||Spider-Man: Miles Morales||400,636||273,629||127,007||31.7%|
|16||Ghost of Tsushima||373,472||192,523||180,949||48.5%|
|17||Cyberpunk 2077||371,215||371,215||No Data||N/A|
|19||Assassin's Creed Odyssey||327,603||54,922||272,681||83.2%|
|20||Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order||312,915||180,551||132,364||42.3%|
The data for this chart is courtesy of GSD, which tracks physical game sales (all games) and digital games sales from selected publishers.
Digital data includes games from participating companies sold via Steam, Xbox Live, PlayStation Network, Nintendo Eshop. Participating companies are Activision Blizzard, Anuman, Bandai Namco, Capcom, Codemasters, Electronic Arts, Focus Home Interactive, Koch Media, Microsoft, Milestone, Nacon, Paradox Interactive, Sega, Sony, Square Enix, Take-Two, THQ Nordic, Ubisoft and Warner Bros.