*All figures cited below reflect Amazon 1st-party sellers only.

Even by the standards of eCommerce, Video Games are a highly volatile product group. Dozens of new games are released every week, and few of them have long tails, most earning the bulk of their sales on release day and seeing volumes drop exponentially in the days that follow. If initial reviews are bad, gamers can quickly lose interest in a long-anticipated product and move on to something else. And every time one of the major developers releases a next-generation console, the whole market adjusts, sales patterns change dramatically, and consumers rapidly shift their priorities.

Earlier this year when we reported on Amazon’s effect on the Video Games market, it was too soon after the March release of the Nintendo Switch to predict that console’s effect on the market. But now, as of Q3 2017, the data is in: the Switch already ranks as the bestselling console YTD in the UK and Germany, and the second-bestseller in the US.Amazon-Gaming-Consoles-Revenue-by-Country

Video Games: Sales by Console

ConsoleUSUKGermany
PlayStation 4 Games and Software
$110M£40M€45M
PlayStation 4 Hardware & Accessories$100M£20M€25M
Nintendo Switch Games and Software$55M£10M€10M
Nintendo Switch Hardware & Accessories$50M£25M€25M
Xbox One Games and Software$45M£20M€5M
Xbox One Hardware & Accessories$80M£15M€10M

The Nintendo Switch comes in two designs: gray and neon red/blue. Both designs took the top two spots in both the UK and Germany, while in the US the gray console performed significantly better than the red/blue. In all three countries, the top-selling Nintendo Switch game was the launch title The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, currently one of the highest-rated video games of all time. YTD sales of Hardware & Accessories are significantly higher in the UK and Germany than sales of actual Nintendo Switch games (25M vs. 10M, respectively) due to the high cost of purchasing a brand new Switch and the fact that it takes years for a new console to build up a large catalogue of games for consumers to choose from.

It should be noted that this trend does not hold up in the US, where sales of Nintendo Switch Games and Software ($55M) are higher than sales of the console ($35M), in part due to the fact that for a much of the time since its March release, the Switch has been very hard to find in the US. The console was such a success especially compared to the relative failure of the Wii U that Amazon (as well as all other retailers) was sold out of the Switch for months at a time.

(This renewed success of Nintendo actually began with the release of Pokemon Sun & Moon in 2016, which drove a new wave of sales of the 3DS handheld console. In Germany, the 3DS is still outselling Microsoft’s Xbox One, the only case of another console beating one of the top three.)

US Video Games Sales YTD 2017

Top subcategoriesSales
PlayStation 4 Bundle$45M
PlayStation 4 Action & Adventure Games$40M
Nintendo Switch Console$35M
PC Virtual Reality Headsets$30M
PlayStation 4 Role Playing Games$30M
Xbox One Console$30M
PlayStation 4 Controllers$20M
Xbox One Bundle$20M
Total$570M
YoY growth20%

Even with the smash success of the Nintendo Switch, Sony PlayStation remains Amazon’s most successful gaming system. Though released in 2013, the PS4 console is still a strong seller in the U.S. where, bundled with the game Uncharted 4, it is the YTD top selling item.Amazon-Top-Selling-Video-Subcategories

PlayStation holds an average of 40% of all video game sales, Nintendo items make up about 30% of sales, and Xbox makes up about 20% (these figures have remained relatively stable on Amazon).  While consumers everywhere primarily use Amazon to purchase individual games, in the US, Peripheral/Accessory sales are popular, while in Europe consoles are purchased significantly more than accessories.Amazon-Video-Game-International-Market-Share

Video Games: Market Share by Country

BrandUSUKDE
Playstation38%41%43%
Nintendo25%31%34%
Xbox23%24%11%
Subcategory
Games44%55%51%
Consoles27%28%34%
Peripherals/Accessories29%17%14%

Key Trends in Video Games

Virtual Reality

The interest in Virtual Reality systems continues to grow especially in the US, where PC VR Headsets are now the #4 subcategory. Behind the top three consoles, the HTC VIVE VR Headset is the #4 bestselling item of the year so far and the Oculus Rift also ranks in the top 10. PlayStation is a strong competitor in this space, with their VR device ranking #6 in the UK and #10 in Germany.

Digital SalesAmazon-Video-Game-Consoles-and-Hardware-Data

Digital Video Game sales are on the rise on Amazon, currently making up 20% of Germany’s Video Game sales, 17% in the US and 10% in the UK  Again, this category is dominated by PlayStation with, on average, 50% of sales and 7 of the top 10 items in both the US and the UK Most digital game downloads purchased through Amazon are PC games, while Sony and Microsoft mainly sell Virtual Currencies (Nintendo barely registers in this category).

Digital Purchases by Console and Type: US

TypePlaystationXboxNintendoPC GamesTotal
Game Download$13.5M$7.5M$4.5M$12.5M$38M
Virtual Currency$48M$14M$3M $3.5M$68.5M
Subscription$7.5M$5.5M$0 $.5M$13.5M
US Total$69M$27M$7.5M$17M$120M

Digital Purchases by Console and Type: UK

TypePlaystationXboxNintendoPC GamesTotal
Game Download£.5M £1M £.5M £1.5M £3.5M
Virtual Currency£5M £3.5M £0£.2M£8.5M
Subscription£2.5M£1.5M £0 £0£4M
UK Total£8M £6M £.5M £1.5M £16M

Digital Purchases by Console and Type: Germany

TypePlaystationXboxNintendoPC GamesTotal
Game Download€1M €1M €1M €5M €8M
Virtual Currency€20M €7.5M€0 €1M€28.5M
Subscription€3M €4M €0 €0 €7M
Germany Total€24M€12.5M€1M €6M €43.5M

Amazon’s Video Game sales are not an accurate reflection of the market as a whole: PC sales are underrepresented because of the dominance of client-based gaming portals such as Steam; Nintendo prefers to channel its digital sales through its only console-based platforms; and console sales still disproportionately take place at brick-and-mortar stores. But Amazon is a major destination for consumers shopping for console games and accessories and is growing at a rapid clip. In 2016, Amazon sold $2 billion in the sector the U.S. alone; and sales have already grown by 20% YTD 2017. As we enter the biggest sales quarter for video games and approach the November release of Microsoft’s new console Xbox One X, Amazon will continue to pose a major opportunity for brands selling in the video game space.

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