Despite expectations of a next-gen console launch driving spending across the board, Black Friday weekend 2020 actually saw year-over-year declines in digital spending, according to data shared by SuperData.
In total, digital games spending from Black Friday through Cyber Monday reached $3.9 billion, down 10% year-over-year.
PC games spending was up 6%, but this was offset by a 13% decline in console spending, likely in no small part due to supply constraints on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X and S pushing potential buyers to wait to purchase digital software.
“The current console transition is more seamless than past ones, with both console families allowing players to purchase a game on an older device and upgrade to the new-gen version at a later point,” reads a blog post from SuperData.
“However, some gamers appear to be waiting to get a new console before starting recent major titles. In order to experience the whole game in the best possible way, they are holding off on purchasing the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions entirely.”
The market intelligence firm also highlights the growth of subscription services such as Xbox Game Pass as a cause of decreased digital spending.
Physical games spending appears to have seen a similar impact, at least in the UK, with boxed game sales down 20% year-over-year over the seven-day period.
That said, digital game sales are still on track to a record-breaking year, with SuperData reporting that US digital spending alone was up 32% year-over-year from January to October, and worldwide spending was up 13%, likely driven in part by COVID-19 lockdowns.