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This article was published on July 31, 2018

Video game consoles are doing just fine

Video game consoles are doing just fine
Rachel Kaser
Story by

Rachel Kaser

Internet Culture Writer

Rachel is a writer and former game critic from Central Texas. She enjoys gaming, writing mystery stories, streaming on Twitch, and horseback Rachel is a writer and former game critic from Central Texas. She enjoys gaming, writing mystery stories, streaming on Twitch, and horseback riding. Check her Twitter for curmudgeonly criticisms.

Nintendo and Sony today revealed their video game consoles were selling like hotcakes — which is a bigger deal than you’d think given how grim things looked for the console industry as recently as last year.

Nintendo’s Switch is doing alright, for starters. In total, the company appears to have sold 20 million Switches — the number was slightly below that as of the end of June, but I’ll hazard a guess the last month has pushed it over that number. Sales are down slightly from last year, though not worryingly so. While the industry in general goeth not as Nintendo goes, it’s a good sign for how receptive the world in general is to buying the latest gaming toy.

Mobile game revenue has been steadily increasing as console sales dwindle over the last six or seven years — so much so that the glory days of the Wii appeared to be behind us. A study by Quartz estimated the console market in general to have dropped by over 50 percent since 2009.

Nintendo itself wasn’t doing so well at the time, its major hardware being the woefully underperforming Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS. Admittedly the latter seems to do land-office business regardless of the rest of the market — the just-released info from the company shows the handheld has sold more than the SNES, Gamecube, and 64. But that could be because it’s a handheld, and the market for those is a different beast from that of stationary consoles (if you don’t believe me, just ask the Vita).

But it’s not just Nintendo who are posting good numbers. According to Sony’s information, the company has sold 3.2 million PS4s in the first quarter of this fiscal year. That puts the total lifetime sales of the console at over 80 million units — a respectable number and better than the company was expecting, if its quarterly report is to be believed.

Meanwhile, Nintendo also released the list of its best-selling Switch games. No shock, it’s pretty much Mario and Zelda, all the time. According to Bloomberg, Sony also attributed the success of the PS4 to the better-than-expected sales of God of War and Detroit: Become Human.

While I would hesitate to put this apparent rally entirely to decent games, but if I didn’t already own a PS4, I’d be more likely to drop hundreds for one for the ultimate dad game than I otherwise would be.

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