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The Nintendo Switch was the best-selling console of 2018

The Switch and Super Smash Bros Ultimate give Nintendo a record-breaking year, according to The NPD Group.

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The Nintendo Switch and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate give Nintendo a record-breaking year, according to The NPD Group.

December 2018 was dominated by sales of the Nintendo Switch, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, according to new data from NPD analyst, Mat Piscatella.

In a wide-ranging Twitter thread, Piscatella says that Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was the best-selling physical release of December 2018, and the fifth best-selling game of the year, overall. The game’s launch set a new platform-exclusive record in dollar sales, besting Halo: Reach‘s Xbox 360 debut in 2010.

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After a seemingly quiet year to most observers, the Nintendo Switch rallied to pip the PlayStation 4, and end 2018 “as the year’s best-selling hardware platform in both units and dollars.”

Piscatella adds that the console had “the highest December month hardware dollar sales for a single platform since the Nintendo Wii in December 2009, and achieved the highest December unit sales for a single platform since December 2010.”

Overall, it’s the best annual hardware performance for a home console – in terms of units and spend – since the PlayStation 4’s blockbuster 2015.

Every console system saw year-over-year growth in 2018, with total hardware sales up 15 per cent – if you include peripherals – reaching $7.5 billion, compared to $6.5 billion in 2017.

Other nuggets of information to be gleaned from Piscatella’s thread include the fact the PS4 DualShock 4 Black, Nintendo Switch Pro Controller, and Xbox One White Controller accounted for the largest percentage of peripheral spend.

Red Dead Redemption 2 was the year’s best-selling game overall, beating Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. And despite its lukewarm critical response, EA’s Battlefield V was the fourth most popular game in December, and 14th for the year.

Here’s the NPD list of 2018’s Top 20 games across all platforms.

NPD dollar sales 2018

Image: @MatPiscatella

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Thumbsticks editor, and connoisseur of Belgian buns. Currently playing: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Red Dead Redemption 2, and Thumper.