Which console won Black Friday?

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Another Black Friday/ Cyber Monday weekend has been and gone. As the dust clears, we’ve had enough time now to dig into exactly what happened. Which console was the most popular? Which sold the most? Which model did people spend the most on? In this post, we aim to find out.

Our data has been drawn from both Google and our own numbers. It’s worth noting that we have very similar visibility across the three main consoles, so there’s no bias towards or against any one of the Xbox One, PS4 or Nintendo Switch.

Google Trends

The verdict is in from Google Trends in terms of which console received the most UK-based searches over the Black Friday week:

It’s no great surprise that the PS4 remains the UK’s most popular console. What is something of a surprise, however, is the Xbox enjoying such a hefty margin over the Switch. Even with much greater brand recognition, many would have expected the Switch to have closed the gap. It has been widely touted as one of this Christmas’s ‘must have’ gifts.

So why did the Switch fail to close the gap? Well, this graph, showing the interest in the Xbox and the Switch since its launch, holds the key:

The significant spikes in Xbox searches in June and then in early November relate to the announcement and subsequent release of the One X, Microsoft’s flagship console. The One X undoubtedly played a big role in helping keep the buffer between the Switch and the Xbox.

And speaking of the One X…

The PS4 Pro may have won the Black Friday battle (see below), but the One X is now winning the war. This isn’t a huge surprise, with the One X the newer of the two consoles. The reason the Pro took over on Black Friday can also be explained through release dates. The Pro is a year older, and therefore more people (correctly) assumed that better deals would be available than on the One X.

Gaming Deals data

However, the number of searches a console received does not necessarily equate to sales. As we mentioned before, the way our site is built and brings in traffic allows for a very even and fair spread of traffic across the three main consoles. So how did they get on?

This data incorporates all sales from the 19th of November through to the 28th, which was the bulk of the key deals period.

Total sales

Including every model variant, the Xbox One was the big winner over Black Friday. Spurred on by the interest in the X and some incredible deals on the One S, the One outsold the PS4. The One S was available with a game for £169.99 over the Black Friday weekend, substantially cheaper than the PS4 with a game (£199.99). The One S also had some discounts available in the run up to Black Friday, whereas Sony chose to focus on pushing PS VR rather than the PS4.

The Switch’s third place may come as a surprise to some, but Nintendo’s newest console’s performance was still extremely strong given the price. The Switch never dropped below £269.99 (the best deal we saw was £279.99 with Super Mario Odyssey), £100 more than the Xbox with a game, but still did some big numbers.

Taking basket value into account, the Switch is much closer in general, and the PS4 nudges ahead of the Xbox by virtue of a higher price on the base model.

One X vs PS4 Pro

Much was made of Microsoft’s Xbox One X launching this year as a rival to the PS4 Pro. The One X can justifiably claim to be the most powerful console ever made. However, all the power in the world can only do so much against a £449.99 RRP which didn’t move more than £10 on Black Friday. In contrast, Sony dropped the Pro from £350 to £300 with at least two games bundled in.

The One X sold well, but nowhere near as well as the Pro. The fantastic deal Sony offered on their flagship console was too good to resist for many. However, there’s still plenty to be positive about the One X’s prospects given it was £150 more expensive than every other console on the market.

Complete console breakdown

For those interested, here’s a complete breakdown of which console models did best (excluding differences in storage capacity):

The One S ended up capturing a significant portion of those simply looking for the best deal they could get, but the performance of the Switch, the Pro and the One X demonstrates that the gaming industry is in good health.

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