September PS5 Sales Knock Switch Off Its 33-Month Perch

The Nintendo Switch has finally been dethroned by the PS5 after nearly 3 years of ruling the United States' console sales.

Published: October 18, 2021 11:14 AM /


PlayStation 5

In a move that is both expected and unexpected, the Nintendo Switch has lost its crown in NPD's September 2021 results. While PS5 sales were unspecified, it was both the best-selling hardware platform in both units and dollars. Previously up until this point for this year, the PS5 had been 2021's leader in dollars while the Nintendo Switch was 2021's leader in units. That's still the case, but with PS5 sales eclipsing the Switch's for September and with the holidays coming up, perhaps that will change by the end of the year.

How did PS5 Sales Overtake Nintendo Switch?

It looks like it was a perfect storm. The PS5 has been difficult to obtain since its pre-orders launched over a year ago, and it's been basically out of stock ever since unless you got lucky or used PS5 hunting discords or other websites to hunt a system down. Still, the console has sold over 10 million units worldwide despite that, so it's not like Sony isn't producing units. It's literally the fastest-selling Sony console ever, so on that front Sony has nothing to worry about. Switch sales also likely slowed down due to people waiting for October's OLED Switch, and console sales right now are limited by supply, not demand for all of the big three.

Games are something any hardware manufacturer has to worry about, and for September 2021 there wasn't much to get excited for. There was Tales of Arise--the fastest-selling game in the Tales series ever--, Deathloop, Life is Strange: True Colors (fastest seller for the series, and debuted at #10), and WarioWare: Get it Together. There was also Diablo 2: Resurrected, a remaster of a 20-year-old game and highest-selling new release, and Madden NFL 22, which also led August 2021 in sales. It's also the #2nd best-selling title of 2021 year-to-date, which is a great result for two months worth of sales. 

Another thing to note is that Nintendo has no new killer app like Animal Crossing: New Horizons's March 2020 release, which has sold a ridiculous 33.9 million copies as of August 2021. That's 33 million copies in 17 months, or just under 2 million copies a month. We might even see a surge in sales with its new update and DLC releasing next month, so I wouldn't count the Switch out yet, that's for sure.

Strong console sales cannot match mobile

Despite September 2021's video game hardware sales increasing 49% over September 2020 to $412 million and 49% year-to-date for a total of $3.4 billion, U.S. mobile gaming has exceeded $2 billion of eight of 2021's nine months to date, which includes September. Average monthly spending has increased 28% over the first nine months of 2020, with Genshin Impact celebrating its one-year launch anniversary with a 120% increase month-over-month. 

For more information and glorious stats, stay tuned to TechRaptor for more details.

Thanks, Mat Piscatella.

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| Staff Writer

Patrick is a former Staff Writer for TechRaptor and has been gaming on every console he could get since he could hold a controller. He’s been writing for… More about Patrick