It's the latest sign that the current generation of consoles are at their peak but, as NPD analyst Mat Piscatella notes, upgraded hardware (think the Xbox One X and PS4 Pro) has upended sales patterns. That could explain why Microsoft and Sony's respective platforms continue to shift millions of units so far into their lifespans. Whereas in the past, what Piscatella describes as a predictable "decay curve for hardware sales" would've set in by now.
In terms of individual winners, the Switch outsold its rivals last month, while the PS4 remains the top dog in year-to-date sales. Compared to last year, hardware spending was up 3 percent in November to $3.9 billion, with the Nintendo Switch's gains helping to offset declines on other platforms.
On the software side, the biggest selling game of November -- and the second biggest seller year-to-date -- was Red Dead Redemption 2. The top spot for the year went to Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, which was the runner-up for November to boot. In third place last month was Battlefield V, followed by the much-maligned Fallout 76. Pokemon Let's Go Pikachu and Eevee nabbed the fifth and sixth slots respectively.
However, November's software dollar sales were down by 15 percent year-over-year courtesy of CoD's moved release date from November to October. On the plus side, year-to-date games sales were in excess of $5.8 billion, marking the highest comparable year-to-date total in software since the same period in 2011. Total spending on accessories and game cards also spiked 35 percent year-over-year to an all-time high of $503 million. In tweets, Piscatella added "there is more variety of games hitting the top 20 than I can ever recall." What a time to be a gamer.