Who Has The Upper Hand This Holiday: PS4, Xbox One, or Switch?

The three consoles get ready to do battle this Holiday season, but which one will come out on top?

Posted By | On 18th, Aug. 2018 Under Article, Editorials | Follow This Author @Pramath1605


Can you believe it’s almost the Holiday season again? It feels like it wasn’t so long ago that I was writing an article like this for the Holiday season in 2017, and now, it’s already time to write one for the Holiday season this year. Much like last year, Holiday this year promises to be competitive- unlike last year, however, when all three systems were competitive, and you could have made a case for literally any one of them coming out on top, this year’s is a little more clear cut.

So, let’s get the obvious out of the way: no, the Xbox One will not win the Holiday season this year. This might seem like I am unfairly picking on it, by highlighting this upfront so early, but I’m not. There is no major Holiday release for the Xbox One this year- Forza Horizon 4 is launching for it, but it’s not a big enough game for Xbox One to ride it through the next few months. Unlike last year, when Xbox also had a very weak lineup, there is no new hardware launching to bolster sales (remember, 2016 saw the release of the Xbox One S, alongside Gears of War 4 and ReCore, while 2017 saw the launch of the much hyped and anticipated Xbox One X, which has single handedly revitalized interest in the platform in the United States so far).

forza horizon 4

"There is no major Holiday release for the Xbox One this year- Forza Horizon 4 is launching for it, but it’s not a big enough game for Xbox One to ride it through the next few months. Unlike last year, when Xbox also had a very weak lineup, there is no new hardware launching to bolster sales."

Not having any new hardware this year, and having no exclusives to stand out, means that the only thing left for Xbox to actually sell well this Holidays will be discounts and bundles- and I have no doubt there will be many of those, Microsoft pushes them out on an almost monthly basis now. And there is the problem- since discounts and bundles for Xbox One are so common now, a lot of the audience that might have waited for a deal in the Holiday season may have jumped on board already. Certainly, just discounts alone won’t help the One win- discounts couldn’t even push the Xbox One to the top with games and/or new hardware. Discounts without those supplementing the system’s proposition will not be able to stand out.

The Xbox One can’t even rely on multiplat games- games such as Destiny 2, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, FIFA 19, and, of course, Red Dead Redemption 2 all have marketing and branding deals with PS4- those are the games that will sell the most this Holiday, and they will all be associated with the PlayStation 4, not the Xbox One.

So, Xbox One is out of contention as far as this Holiday season goes, and we are left with the Switch and the PS4. This is where things get a lot more interesting. PS4, for literally the first time ever, has a major released lined up for the back half of the year with Spider-Man– which, I need to remind you, is based on the most popular superhero in the world, not to mention getting the full marketing backing of Sony and Marvel, the latter of whom represents the most beloved brand in the world right now. Spider-Man is going to sell bonkers- it will probably end up being the highest selling PlayStation exclusive of all time. We’re talking about a game selling north of 20 million copies, and, coupled with bundles and price drops, it could lead to the PS4 absolutely exploding at retail come Holiday season- even more so than the extraordinarily great sales legs the system has exhibited all year long so far.

Spider-Man Screenshot 3

"Spider-Man is going to sell bonkers- it will probably end up being the highest selling PlayStation exclusive of all time. We’re talking about a game selling north of 20 million copies, and, coupled with bundles and price drops, it could lead to the PS4 absolutely exploding at retail come Holiday season."

Add in residual sales from games like God of War, plus, of course, multiplatform games such as Red Dead Redemption 2 and Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, as noted above, and you can see why the PS4 is in a tremendous position to do well- in fact, it would be a slam dunk assured success, but it seems like Nintendo, too, has stacked the deck this year.

Unlike last year, when Nintendo launched multiple high profile games through the year, 2018 for the Switch sees its biggest titles all saved for the back half- Super Mario Party, Pokemon Let’s GO Pikachu/Eevee, and, of course, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. The first of those is bound to sell well, and probably move some Switch consoles among families; the second one represents the first Pokemon RPG on a console by Game Freak, and while not the mainline Pokemon game we were promised, is still tapping into Kanto nostalgia and the surge of hype from Pokemon GO. Finally, we have Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, which is receiving a formidable amount of marketing, and may end up becoming the highest selling exclusive in a year that includes God of War, Spider-Man, and Pokemon– think about that for a second. Smash always has immense market appeal, but Ultimate looks like it will go above and beyond even that thanks to just how much it is packing to appeal to literally anyone with even a passing interest in video games.

Then there is the fact that this year, unlike last year, there are no more Switch shortages. The Switch itself remains a immensely appealing system, and one that has continued to do well even in months with no major release- imagine what happens in the months that it does get major releases, and there are no shortages for it. Add in the possibility of bundles and price drops – something we have already seen Nintendo begin to do – and the sky is the limit for the Switch. Then you throw in the continued sale of legacy software, such as Mario Kart and Breath of the Wild, and it becomes truly impressive just how high the Switch could really go. Really, any other year, I would have had no trouble simply giving it to the Switch, but…

"Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is receiving a formidable amount of marketing, and may end up becoming the highest selling exclusive in a year that includes God of War, Spider-Man, and Pokemon– think about that for a second. Smash always has immense market appeal, but Ultimate looks like it will go above and beyond even that thanks to just how much it is packing to appeal to literally anyone with even a passing interest in video games."

Spider-Man and Red Dead Redemption 2 promise a more than viable counter for the Switch this year. I can’t hand it to the Switch. But, given Smash and Pokemon, I can’t hand it to the PS4 either. I think, in the end, it comes down to one of those two doing the best this Holiday- which one, I cannot say. But it will be one of them, and it will be super close.

Not that, as gamers and fans, it should matter to us anyway. We’re getting some great games on some great systems this Holiday season- what more could we ask for?

Note: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, GamingBolt as an organization.


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