LOS ANGELES — Gamers are getting excited about the next generation of PlayStation and Xbox. But those won’t come out until next holiday season. In the meantime, the Nintendo Switch is reaping the rewards of video game players holding out for new gaming systems.
The Switch was among most popular items sold on Black Friday, according to analysts who said that the gaming console benefited from aging competition.
Nintendo offered the same deal as it did last year: A Switch console and a free download of “Mario Kart 8” for $299, which saves customers about $60. Analysts at Wedbush Securities said that once again attracted shoppers because it was “likely a reflection of the competition feeling a bit long-in-the-tooth” ahead of newly refreshed devices expected in 2020.
The potential boost in Switch sales should be welcomed news for Nintendo. Earlier this year it slashed its annual Switch sales forecast from 20 million to 17 million. The hybrid gaming console allows people to play it on the go and at home. It was so popular when it launched in 2017 that it initially struggled to ship enough devices to meet the huge demand.
‘Call of Duty’
Wedbush said that a discounted “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare” was the video game winner this past weekend. The firm noticed it was priced roughly $10 cheaper than usual at $38.
Sports-centric games, including “FIFA,” “Madden NFL” and “NBA2K” were also heavily discounted and in high demand, Wedbush said.
Apple’s newly released AirPods Pro were also another hot-selling piece of technology. Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives forecasts that Apple sold more than 3 million ear buds over the holiday weekend, and it will sell 15 million in December. The demand is so high that Ives expects that demand could cause shortages as Christmas approaches.
The older models of AirPods will also attract shoppers because he expects retailers, including Amazon, will slash prices on them.
Other hardware that proved popular were FitBit, Logitech non-gaming keyboards and Roku devices because they all had better-than-usual discounts, Wedbush said in a report Monday. The analysts noted that those companies offered “more compelling” discounts for Black Friday weekend this year, but Wedbush doesn’t think that drove higher sales compared to last year.
Shoppers’ enthusiasm for those deals helped make this Black Friday one of the biggest ever. Americans spent $7.4 billion online on Black Friday and $4.2 billion on Thanksgiving Day, according to data released from Adobe Analytics on Sunday.
“We’ve got a shorter holiday selling season,” Jason Woosley, Adobe’s vice president of commerce product and platform, told CNN Business earlier this week. “That’s creating a compression effect.”
And the shopping sprees are far from over with Cyber Monday poised to be even bigger. Adobe is projecting $9.4 billion in online sales. It anticipates that the last few hours of Cyber Monday will attract a lot of sales from people unwilling to miss out on deals.