It's no secret that the Nintendo Switch has been a commercial success. In fact, a recent financial forecast predicts that the portable home console will outsell the PS4 in 2019. And as it turns out, the Switch has already managed to dethrone Sony's flagship hardware as the best-selling console of 2018 in the United States.
According to the December 2018 NPD report, the Nintendo Switch performed better commercially than any other console in America for 2018, bolstered by high-profile exclusives like Pokemon: Let's Go, Super Mario Party, and Smash Bros. Ultimate. To note, Smash Bros. set a new record for launch month dollar sales for a platform exclusive in video game history, beating out the previous record holder, Halo Reach.
For Nintendo, the good news doesn't end there. The month of December also saw the company hit record-breaking numbers in two other categories: highest hardware dollar sales for a single platform since December 2009, and highest unit sales for a single platform since December 2010.
Perhaps one of the first public signs that the Switch was on pace to overtake the long-reigning PS4 in sales was this past holiday season, where the Switch was the single best-selling item on both Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday.
Despite falling short of the Switch in sales, both the PS4 and Xbox One saw an increase in overall sales over the previous year, making 2018 the best year for overall console hardware sales since 2009.
As to who or what gets credit for the increase in video game spending in 2018, there are a few theories, including a thriving economy, the release of several high-profile titles, and the exploding popularity of the battle royale genre and Fortnite, in particular. The massively successful Fortnite released on the Nintendo Switch in 2018.
Whether the Switch maintains its title as best-selling console throughout 2019 is anyone's guess. That said, should the rumors of a revised Switch releasing this year turn out to be true, Nintendo's position in hardware sales will assuredly depend on how well they manage to design, price, and market the newly-redesigned Switch console.
Source: Mat Piscatella (NPD) - Twitter