Tuesday December 5, 2023

Next-Gen Console Scarcity Drags Black Friday Video Game Sales

Gamestop Line
Ken Ruinard-USA Today Network
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Video game sales from Black Friday to Cyber Monday dropped 10% year-over-year as gamers seem to be waiting to upgrade consoles before buying more games. Console games specifically saw a 13% drop in sales.

But getting a new console has been difficult: Microsoft and Sony are both facing “unprecedented” global demand for the new editions of the Xbox and PlayStation as the popularity of gaming has skyrocketed this year with more people staying at home during the pandemic. 

  • Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan said the company pre-sold as many PlayStation 5 consoles in the U.S. in the first 12 hours of it being on sale as it did PlayStation 4 consoles in 12 weeks.
  • Scalpers have snatched up the few consoles available, selling them for more than $1,000 on eBay.
  • Both companies have said the pandemic did not have an impact on production.

On top of waiting on new systems, gamers have started to embrace digital subscription services like Xbox Game Pass, which grew to 15 million members in September, a 50% jump from April. 

Still On Track: 2020 will likely end up nearing or surpassing video game sales records. U.S. video game spending reached $11.2 billion in the third quarter, up 24% year-over-year, according to The NPD Group.

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