Microsoft look set to be outgunned by another big console rival in 2019.
The Xbox One X has helped to boost the number of sales of the tech giant’s flagship console brand but it won’t be enough to keep up against its rivals.
The world’s most powerful console has proven popular with fans but is facing competition from the Nintendo Switch, a gaming machine that doesn’t need to rely on graphical prowess.
Currently, the Xbox One and Xbox One X combined lead the Nintendo Switch in total sales, but that situation could change in 2019, or more likely, early 2020.
The Nintendo Switch has now been backed to be the best selling console in 2019 by several analysts.
NPD analyst Mat Piscatella is just the latest to support the hybrid console in taking the lead over the Xbox One and Sony’s PS4.
In a series of messages on Twitter, the industry expert detailed what could happen over the coming months, while predicting the Nintendo Switch outselling the PS4 and Xbox One in 2019.
This includes the Switch picking up a 35 per cent market share in 2019, a massive chunk that could help close the gap.
And the key to Nintendo’s success could be their first-party exclusive strategy, with a new Pokemon RPG set to launch in the second half of the year.
“Below are my predictions. Around January 23 I’ll publish my 2018 prediction results, then have a much larger 2019 prediction breakdown around Jan 24-25. But here are the quick (could be wrong) hits,” Piscatella posted.
“2019 US Predictions – In console hardware, Switch grows, leads market – I have Switch achieving more than 35 share of hardware unit sales in the US in 2019, with Pokémon and continued strength of Nintendo’s evergreen franchises driving the performance.
“18 success will lead to tough comps in console SW – 2018 was a remarkable year of titles released from some of the most successful franchises and studios.
“Many months in 2019 will fail to have the breadth and depth of content offerings, leading to declines.
“2019 will be a year of significant change and transition in gaming, and we should not expect to see the kind of growth we’ve seen in 2018.
“Switch will pull ahead in Console as we move to predicted 2020 next gen for MS/Sony. Could be a bumpy year.”
The combination noted in these predictions suggests that it could be a tough year for the Xbox One and to a lesser extent, the PS4.
However, it should also be noted that Microsoft has lagged in sales before and has moved toward building a subscription ecosystem that has proven highly profitable.
And if things are set to slow down, it could be the perfect year for Microsoft to announce their new console.
Revealing the Xbox Two will no doubt lead to a drop in sales, something that is expected to happen anyway.
Recently shared data revealed just how fast Nintendo is gaining ground with the Switch console.
New information provided by VGChartz confirms that the Switch had a massive sales month in November 2018.
The new stats show just how successful last year was for the Switch and how the gap over that period changed.
“November 2018 is the 21st month that the Nintendo Switch has been available for. During the latest month, the gap grew in favour of the Switch by 2.92 million units when compared to the Xbox One during the same timeframe,” VGChartz reveals.
“In the last 12 months, the Switch has grown its lead over the Xbox One by 7.64 million units. The Switch is currently ahead of the Xbox One by 11.46 million units.
“The Xbox One launched in November 2013, while the Nintendo Switch launched worldwide in March 2017. The Switch has sold 24.91 million units, while the Xbox One sold 13.45 million units during the same timeframe.
“The 21st month on sale for the Nintendo Switch is November 2018, while for the Xbox One it is July 2015.”
Another report claims that the Nintendo Switch will be the best-selling console next year, with over 17 million units sold. In comparison, the report by market research firm Strategy Analytics pegs Xbox One sales at 10 million in 2019.
So while the Nintendo Switch is expected to sell a lot of units this year, it probably won’t be enough to surpass the Xbox One when it comes to lifetime totals.
Chirag Upadhyay , Senior Analyst at Strategy Analytics, added, “Console upgrade cycles continue, and the three-way battle between Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo, which has been raging now for the best part of two decades, shows no sign of abating as each platform owner discusses its plans for updates and new generations.
“In partnership with developers and driven by the ever-rising expectations of consumers we fully expect these platform owners to continue to push the boundaries of the large screen gaming experience for many more years to come.”