Xbox outsells PS4 in December – Is PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds to thank?

A tweet from Aaron Greenberg, head of xbox marketing at Microsoft, has revealed an unexpected ordering of console hardware sales in the US in December. According to data that he had seen from NPD – but which is yet to be released.

December is a big month for console sales and the Xbox One outselling the PS4 is big news and something that has been rare to see in this console generation. They may be partly down to a lack of massive exclusives on the console this year – until December that is.

Could PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds been the game that turned the tide? Physical sales in the UK weren’t incredible, but it was always going to be a highly digital title and Microsoft has stated that its moved 3m units worldwide already. Could the Twitch streaming sensation, launched on the 12th of December, have tipped the scales Xbox’s way.

Another potential boost comes from the launch of the Xbox One X, though hardware shortages there must mean that the bulk of the sales was helped by some aggressive bundle deals on the Xbox One S. Either way, competition is always healthy and the Xbox finding momentum at the end of the year is great news.

All that said, it was actually Switch that came out top, according to Greenberg. That demand for the device was high is hardly surprising, especially given the huge popularity of Mario in the region – however it does show that Nintendo was getting a good supply of hardware into retailers even late into the Christmas shopping cycle.

We talked to Greenberg back at Gamescom – where he was wearing a toga.

About Seth Barton

Seth Barton is the editor of MCV – which covers every aspect of the industry: development, publishing, marketing and much more. Before that Seth toiled in games retail at Electronics Boutique, studied film at university, published console and PC games for the BBC, and spent many years working in tech journalism. Living in South East London, he divides his little free time between board games, video games, beer and family. You can find him tweeting @sethbarton1.

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