Aussies Are Searching For The Switch More Than The PS5, Xbox Series X Combined

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Australians have been stuck in various forms of lockdown — or never-ending lockdown — since mid-March, and so naturally we’ve been gaming a lot this year. And despite the tantalising prospect of some serious power with the next-gen consoles, you know what Australians love a lot more? Like, way more? The Nintendo Switch.

Data collected by Google over 2020 has shown that Australians have been vastly more interested in the Nintendo Switch, so much so that the Switch has more search interest than the Xbox Series X or PS5 combined.

The PS5 briefly overtook the Switch mid-year when Sony officially announced the console’s design and its initial lineup of titles. But since the PS5 and the Xbox Series X were officially unveiled, the Switch has still dominated the next-gen consoles. The PS5 (red) has started to slowly trend up, while the Xbox Series X (blue) has remained largely flat.

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It’s not a surprise per se that the Switch is hugely popular, or that it’s more popular than the upcoming next-gen consoles. It’s been a good year for Nintendo, particularly with massive hits like Animal Crossing: New Horizons, which sold tens of millions of copies in a matter of weeks. The Switch has also enjoyed a surge in demand with the coronavirus pandemic, which created supply issues earlier in the year as various assembly, silicon and distribution factories were all hit by COVID-19 in different ways.

Another interesting note of comparison is that Aussies seem to be less interested in the PlayStation 5 compared to previous generations. That could be partially influenced by the lack of a price or a headline event, like a showcase at E3.

“Comparing generations 2 through 5, the most recent release has seen a comparatively modest spike in search interest so far, and the fourth generation also remains more highly searched,” a Google representative told Kotaku Australia.

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That said, the PS4 and Xbox One have still got more search interest than the Switch in general. The PS4 remains the biggest console locally in search volumes: Sony’s console has 245 per cent more searches than the Switch in the last 30 days, while the Xbox One has 204 per cent more search volume.

It’s worth noting that incumbency plays a large factor here: the previous generation have had years to build up their search relevancy and interest. The chart below also doesn’t incorporate any search volume from the hype around the Nintendo NX, what the Switch was called before its official announcement.

Of course, something that Microsoft and Sony could do to trend upwards would be to announce the price of their consoles. Or in Microsoft’s case, actually announce your second console before you start referencing it on all your packaging. The fact that we’re in September and we have no idea how much either of these things will cost is probably the primary reason why Australians are still searching for information.

And when you think about it, it’s also probably the reason Nvidia’s new GPUs are surprisingly price competitive. People don’t have as much money floating around this year, so there’s a big advantage in getting out of the gate first.

Comments

  • All of this kinda makes sense. People are in lockdown and looking for something to play WHILE in lockdown, not in January next year.

    The fact that ps4 AND xbox both are searched more than the switch is what I found more surprising. I would’ve thought the general public wanting a console for the family or themselves would’ve looked for switch more than the bigger consoles..

  • I generally search for resolutions to technical problems. Haven’t had a problem with my switch or xbox, but the PS4 and PSN are such junk systems i am constantly trying to find answers to faults.

    Had a power outage that corrupted my PS4 OS so i had to reinstall followed by re downloading all my games, took me days to get them working again, no idea why PSN limits me to about 5Mbps when Xbox peaks at around 400Mbps.

    Lost all my save games too, which is stupid. My 5year old can swap between mine and the wifes xbox and his save games transfer and just work, yet i loose all of them because PS4 can’t handle loss of power without corrupting and then wipes the entire drive instead of just the OS and keeping other data.

    I hope the PS5 has better quality in these area’s, microsoft are just whooping Sony’s butts currently. Only reason i have the Ps4 is for the exclusives, Does anyone have any other reason to have one?

    • Everyone flocked to the PS4 this gen due to the complete blunder of a launch from xbox. The reason people will stick with PS5 this time is because if both companies are saying 90% the same stuff and all third parties are on both, you’ll stick where your friends are.

      • There Xbox blunder was a considerable force in pushing fence sitters toward the PS4 at the start of the generation but the success of the PS4 was largely driven by the comeback of the PS3.

        Basically, the improvements they made to the brand in the back half of the last generation played a huge part in the success of the current one.

        • To a point I agree, but if backend ‘make good’ is something that would drive console sales massively then Xbox should have come back this gen, if only a little.

          I would argue Microsoft’s customer focus in the back half of this gen (game pass, free backwards compatibility, forward compatibility assurance, etc.) has outshone Sony, but they still trail in console sales and the chasm is widening.

          What has killed (opinion forthcoming) MS’s ‘comeback’ is their lack of exclusives. Otherwise, they’ve done everything well.

    • That’s rough, I’ve had quite a few power outages and accidental shutdowns for both my PS4 and Pro and never had a corruption issue, knock on wood.
      (Keep forgetting it’s turned on and switch the power board off at the wall more times than I care to admit)
      I don’t upload my save data to the cloud either so I would definitely lose that if something did happen, thankfully most of important stuff is account based.

      Of course everyone gets the PS for its exclusives but it’s also why so many didn’t get the Xbox.

      Xbox is undoubtedly kicking butt in a few areas right now but something that really surprises me is how little it’s done for the Xbox itself in all these years.
      It’s going to be interesting to see if their new direction turns things around.
      I’m hanging to hear more about the Fable reboot, I just hope MS have learnt that exclusives games are only part of the puzzle, you gotta make sure the quality and support is there too.

      • I’ll admit if Sony keep releasing their exclusives to PC, even if they come a year or two later like horizon has. I might just skip the PS5 altogether. I have a plenty big enough pile of shame to keep me busy, and I can play cyberpunk on the xbox one X fine, and my uplay plus on PC gets me access to all their delicious new games coming.

        I’d say all 4 of my top 5 best play moments this gen have been on the PS4, the only competition to the PS exclusives was Witcher 3, otherwise its just God of War, Ghost of Tshumia, Spiderman, Days Gone and Horizon Zero Dawn which i am now reliving on PC.

        Even the joy I have felt playing No Mans Sky happened on my PC, though it was the reason i purchased a PS4.

    • Haven’t had issues like yours with my PS4, and its been through blackouts, overheating and general power issues. My 360, now that was a nightmare of epic proportions, not to mention how hard it is to get a working OG Xbox, or PS3 Phat. One doesn’t work, the other requires a hairdryer and putting in the fridge to get temporarily working.

  • Not really that surprising. The Switch is a here and now product that has a lot of content oriented toward the general populace (Animal Crossing, Ring Fit, etc.) who would be looking for ways to get through the current situation. The PS5 and XSX are at this point something that only the fanatics are going to be super interested in, especially since we don’t have release dates or prices and the starting lineup has more or less moved entirely into 2021. I imagine once Microsoft and Sony stop playing silly beggars and actually start confirming the things people actually want to know then there’ll probably be a spike.

    Still, with things the way they are and everything getting more expensive next generation I have a feeling that the more affordable Switch and discounted last gen are still going to be more attractive for a long time yet.

        • No, I specifically asked a couple of days ago as I needed to cancel a different pre-order and thought (as I live in Melbourne and can’t physically go into the store for a refund) I’d just transfer the deposit onto a PS5 but was told they can’t until they have a release date and price attached – which is odd since (as you mentioned), that’s never stopped them in the past…

    • Its not surprising because its comparing separate things.

      Compare switch against other released consoles and the switch falls into insignificance.

      Its a pointless article apart from making you give them more advertisement money.

      • Saying “separate things” is a super reductive take on gaming consoles, and the fact that they’re all vying for money and dollars in an increasingly competitive market (coupled with the recession on top). How that tracks, and how it compares historically, is worth putting out there on the public record.

        I get that you might have all this knowledge internalised, but not everyone does.

        • is it an increasingly competitive market though? I can see how indie developers might think that, but major console manufacturers and AAA developers have never lived a bigger life, soo much so that they are going to up the price for new Series X and PS5 games, if it was as competitive as you say wouldn’t prices be going down?

          • PC gaming’s a bigger threat too (something Nvidia has clearly recognised). Gamers might not see them in the same class per se, and certainly not same offering, but for the vast majority of consumers its very much either/or purchases for 2020. And the scarcity of the Switch earlier meant that a lot of people have been really keen on a Switch since iso began – but they couldn’t buy one.

        • “Saying “separate things” is a super reductive take on gaming consoles”

          It’s not in this case though, you’re comparing a product that released over three years ago to products that haven’t even got a date or price. They’re totally separate things just as blightor said…

          As for the argument of clickbait that others brought up, it’s a fair point, you mention this in the paragraph on the front page;
          “you know what Australians love a lot more? Like, way more? The Nintendo Switch.”
          Except the rest of the article doesn’t back that statement up, just shows that people are searching more on Google about a product they already own that one that has no information released. No evidence that they prefer the Switch – in fact as others have pointed out, PS4 and Xbox One are both searched far more than Switch

      • Because its NOT newsworthy.

        So your headline is to compare two UNRELEASED consoles against a console with users and people searching all the time. Its trying to hype up something utterly obvious.

        What is the point of that? In what world would unreleased consoles be getting more searches than released consoles with games and people playing them…. Do you have examples of when in history that has not been the case?

        Just you getting your heckles up immediately tells me you now this, so are immediately defensive.

        • I’m just trying to engage in good faith mate — sorry if I’m being defensive. And there is an example there of an unreleased console getting more interest — the PS5 launch reveal, which is a good sign for Sony here.

          Anyway, I hope you’re having a good one all the same.

          • So I think the data is potentially skewed. I see in the graphs you have 8 different ways to say playstation (PS2 and Playstation 2 etc), only 2 different ways to say xbox (Xbox, Xbox series X), and 1 way to say switch (Nintendo Switch).

            How well do those terms capture peoples google searches (92% of global search engine market share – https://gs.statcounter.com/search-engine-market-share).

          • Content that just drives fanboyism annoys me. So honestly I could give two hoots how a search spike about the PS5 is good for Sony after an article that is trying to hype up Switch.

            I love all things video games. I have my opinions on my preferences but in the end I like to see content about videos games and technology.

    • It isn’t clickbait.

      An article for the sake of publishing content… 100%

      Actually useful information… no

      Something that screams of tabloid bs journalism… yes

  • I sold my switch and bought a guitar after my last one broke. Absolutely no regrets. Just watching xfiles and playing guitar, lockdown or not. I do put down the guitar to skip all the shitty alien episodes.

  • I am confused by this story.

    So Switch is searched for more than PS5 and Xbox Series X….

    But Switch is searched for less than PS4 and Xbox One.

    Couldn’t you have just said “Current gen is searched for more than next gen consoles”?

    Is there something Switch specific I’m not seeing? What is the broader point of this article? I’m genuinely curious.

    • The Switch, PS5 and Xbox Series X are going to be what makes up the “current generation” for the next few years. Currently, the interest around the next-gen is historically lower than for previous gens, and vastly lower than for Nintendo right now — which is no small feat if we think back to the Wii U era. It’s also an indication as to how the PS5 and Xbox Series X are doing against each other, but also where the PS5 is going in comparison to previous generations and how that’s being received by Aussies looking for information online.

      • “Currently, the interest around the next-gen is historically lower than for previous gens”
        Where is the evidence to show that though?? None of the graphs you’ve provided show clear dates for the intersections but the point where “ps3” passes “ps2” seems to be around 2006-2007, so at or post-release. The same for PS4 as “ps4” passes “ps3” in searches around 2014, a year after the PS4 released. As we don’t even have a date for PS5 yet, it’s impossible to really say that interest is lower just yet… If ps4 is still being searched more that ps5 in a year or two (assuming ps5 releases this year), you’d have a point but saying it’s too low right now doesn’t line up with the data you’ve provided.

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