2018's console war is over and Sony's PlayStation 4 has managed to hold onto its top spot against the Nintendo Switch as the best-selling console. Last year was huge for gaming as the PS4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One went head-to-head in the battle of the consoles.
While the big three are already looking at what consoles come next, the current eight-generation of hardware is still going strong. Since releasing back in 2013, the PlayStation 4 has made a name for itself with critically acclaimed titles like Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, God of War, Horizon Zero Dawn, and Spider-Man. Considering two of those titles came out in 2018, it's no surprise the PS4 had a bumper year.
Sony just dropped its latest financial data, confirming that 17.7 million PS4 consoles were shifted in 2018. As well as bringing the PS4's total sales to an impressive 94.2 million units, the statistics reveal Sony's bumper October to December sales period. Even at this late stage in the PlayStation 4's cycle, Sony shipped 8.1. million consoles in the last quarter of 2018.
On the other hand, Nintendo numbers show how the family-friendly offering shipped 17.4 million consoles last year. Sony only just nudged ahead of its closest competitor, but a win is still a win. Despite the Nintendo Switch crossing the sales line of 32.3 million units, it was no secret that Nintendo struggled at some points in 2018 alongside the plummeting stock value after a fairly average E3 2018 presentation. That being said, the house that Mario built sold a whopping 9.4 million Switches between October and December.
Considering the PlayStation 4 is now heading into its sixth year and Takashi Mochizuki has already confirmed its coming to the end of its life cycle, the figures are pretty impressive. The Nintendo Switch is hoping for another big year thanks to upcoming titles like a main-series Pokémon title and Luigi's Mansion 3, as well as rumors of a cheaper (portable-only) version of the Switch. Still, Nintendo has reduced its sales target and is no longer aiming to sell 20 million Switches before the end of the fiscal year in March.
On the other end of the spectrum, Microsoft's Xbox One has struggled a little more. Earlier this month, figures revealed how the Xbox One hit 41 million consoles sold worldwide - under half the number of PS4 units. As players turn their attention to 2019, the Switch should be able to make up for its disappointing first half of 2018 and close the relatively small gap between itself and the PS4. And, even with the PlayStation 5 waiting in the wings, Sony is looking at a triumphant swan song for the PlayStation 4 with hopeful releases of Death Stranding and The Last of Us Part 2 this year. Whether the Nintendo Switch can snatch the crown remains to be seen, but expect it to be another close race in 2019.