2022 has come to a close, so it’s time to answer the all-important question – who scored a victory in the consoles wars last year? I mean, not that we care about such things around here, but y’know, just for curiosity’s sake. Well, according to the NPD Group’s Mat Piscatella, the Nintendo Switch was the #1 console of 2022 in North America in terms of unit sales, which isn’t a huge surprise as the Switch topped the charts most months last year. That said, in terms of actual dollar sales, the PlayStation 5 was the #1 console of 2022.
It looked like the PS5 had a shot of dethroning the Switch in terms of both unit and dollar sales, as it was the overall top console in both October and November after Sony finally managed to figure out its supply-chain issues, but in the end, the Switch held onto its title. For the record, the Switch returned to its regular spot as the #1 in unit sales in December.
Overall, 2022 was a slightly down year for the industry, with players spending $56.6 billion on games, additional content, and hardware. Spending on hardware was up year-over-year as both Sony and Microsoft actually managed to get new-gen consoles on shelves, and subscription spending also increased. It seems the decrease in spending was largely due to 2022’s somewhat thin slate of new AAA titles (check out the 2022 software best-sellers here) as well as general economic conditions, such as inflation.
Which direction will things go in 2023? With new consoles now in decent supply and major exclusives like The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Starfield, and Spider-Man 2 set to launch, it’s likely to be a big year. Then again, if that recession some economists are predicting happens it could end up having a major dampening effect.
What do you think? Which console will win the war of 2023?