PlayStation Takes the Shelf, Xbox Wins the Browser

Looking to squeeze every last drop from an existing generation of consoles, both Microsoft and Sony released minor upgrades leading up to Black Friday in an effort to win the all-important holiday shopping weekend. Xbox trimmed down the device itself while adding support for HDR gaming and Ultra HD Blu-ray players, coining their new console the Xbox One S. PlayStation followed suit on aesthetics, offering the PlayStation 4 Slim with a sleeker design. Sony also looked to capitalize on the 4k TV trend with the November release of the PlayStation 4 Pro, offering enhanced hardware performance and support for 4k streaming.

Driven primarily by a discount at Target for the PlayStation 4 Uncharted Bundle ($212), Sony won the war of the shelves for the 2016 Black Friday Weekend.

Gaming Console Brick & Mortar Share
But when it came to online shopping, the storyline was different. The appetite grew beyond the base 500GB models with the Xbox 1TB Battlefield Bundle, which was marked down to $299 from $349 at major e-tailers, garnering an 18% market share.

Gaming Console Online Sales

Did the push by both Sony and Microsoft to slim down and enhance the aesthetic appeal of the console have an influence? According to our survey to 300+ console purchasers on Black Friday, not so much. Less than 8% of respondents cited exterior console design as an influencing factor for their purchase.

While PlayStation4 buyers had few console+game bundles to choose from, namely the Uncharted 4 Bundle, Xbox had a wider variety (Battlefield, Gears of War, Minecraft). This appeared to bolster sales as Xbox buyers cited the bundled game as a influencing factor in their console decision.

Gaming Console Factors
Stay tuned for our breakdown of the top games from Black Friday 2016!

About the Data

The data in this article was sourced from over 1.2m transcribed brick-and-mortar and online receipts on Black Friday weekend from Thursday evening to Sunday night. This included over 1,500 gaming console purchases at major brick-and-mortar retailers and major online e-tailers. The 2016 analysis was limited to Xbox and PlayStation, purchases including the Nintendo WII and 3DS were not included. 

Throughout the 2016 holiday shopping season, InfoScout’s team of researchers will be analyzing real-time data from millions of omnichannel shopping trips. This data is mapped to shopper profile data, instantly triggered surveys and more to provide the richest set of shopper insights available.

For more information, please contact

Games Trump Console Sales this Black Friday

Given existing gaming consoles have been available on the shelf for over two years, it should be of no surprise that consoles took a back seat to game sales this Black Friday season.  Once again, when consoles did sell retailers offered game+console bundle deals to lure consumers. The top console bundle pick this year was the Xbox One 500gb with Gears of War, which Target discounted to $299 (down from $350) and threw in a $60 gift card.

While not a top dollar mover, game memberships were popular this season thanks to major discounts from brick & mortar retailers – Walmart offered a 3 month membership to Xbox Live for $12.50 (down from $25) and PlayStation Plus for $10 (down from $18).

Black Friday Gaming Consoles Market Share


The recent release of Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 made it a hot ticket on Friday, capturing almost 10% of all game dollars. Walmart helped its cause by slashing the PS4 & Xbox game to $49 (down from $59) and Xbox 360 game for $29 (down from $49).

Black Friday 2015 Top Games


Update – 2015-11-30

Due to popular demand, we’ve augmented the post to include a breakdown by major gaming console.

At Target and Walmart, the Xbox One + Gears of War bundle barely outsold its rival PS4 + Uncharted Bundle. Yet, strong PS4 sales at and other retailers were enough to edge out the Xbox One for top sales this Black Friday season.


Console Sales Breakdown



About the Data

More than 300,000 Americans snap pictures of their everyday shopping receipts via InfoScout’s mobile apps: Shoparoo, Receipt Hog and Receipt Lottery. The first 250,000 receipts reported from shopping trips on Thanksgiving night and Black Friday were analyzed to support the real-time insights above. For further information, please contact

Madden tops list of games this Black Friday

While Xbox cleaned up once again this year, which games were the hottest sellers this Black Friday? Sports-related games climbed the list this year owning 3 of the top 6 spots, a jump from just one sports game in the top 5 last year. Madden NFL 15 topped the charts with an 8.4% share of game spend.

Top Games Black FridayNote share data is for game-only purchases, and excludes console+game bundled purchases.

So to what extent did games drive overall sales within the gaming market on Black Friday? Per a previous post, console+game bundles led the way this year while games alone contributed to 37% to the total share. Black Friday is far from the end of game purchases this holiday season; 77% of panelists who purchased a console on Friday plan to purchase 2+ more games before Christmas.

Gaming Console Purchase Breakdown

Data methodology:
InfoScout panelists submitted 180k+ receipts over the course of Black Friday. The data includes purchases at all major retailers carrying electronics including Walmart, Target, Best Buy, GameStop, RadioShack, and others. For more information related to our data and panel representation, visit our data page.

Bundles & Xbox Dominate the Console War

With no major console releases this Black Friday season, retailers turned to lower prices and console + game bundles to lure in consumers. The bundles seemed to be successful in driving sales, as over 90% of console purchases on Friday were bundled with a game.  Was it really the attached game that drove the sale? Apparently so, as 75% of InfoScout panelists who purchased a gaming console this Black Friday said that the included game was a major influence on their purchase decision.

Top Gaming Console Purchases

Gaming bundles aside, which console came out as the winner this Black Friday? PlayStation4 had a disappointing weekend one year ago, capturing only 15% of the console market. While 2014 shows a slightly better story for the Ps4, between the Xbox One and Xbox 360, Xbox once again dominated the console war, owning 62% of the market share.


While we know that kids influence their parents’ purchase decision when it comes to holiday gifts, we were curious to what extent and how that varied from console to console. Unsurprisingly, 66% of InfoScout panelists confirmed that they purchased the console for their kids.

topconsole_kids (1)

Interestingly though, it varied greatly by console with over 50% of PS4 purchasers buying the console for themselves.

Update – 2014-12-01
Multiple sources reached out to InfoScout and were curious about the motivations behind console purchases during the Black Friday shopping weekend. We shared this curiosity, so we collected survey responses from 350 consumers who purchased a console over the Black Friday weekend. The cost of the console certainly played a role, although that varied by console – 71% of Xbox One purchasers cited price as a major influence on their decision versus just 48% of PlayStation 4 purchasers. As other sources have noted, this may have played a role in its success this weekend. Not surprisingly, price-conscious consumers may have also led to the sales of the 8-year-old Xbox 360 as 92% of consumers noted price as a major influence their decision.

Data methodology:

InfoScout panelists submitted 180k+ receipts over the course of Black Friday. Of the 180k receipts submitted, 2k receipts included a games-related purchase. The data includes purchases at all major brick & mortar retailers carrying electronics including Walmart, Target, Best Buy, GameStop, RadioShack, and others. For more information related to our data and panel representation, visit our data page.

First Read on Black Thursday’s Top Sellers

With many stores opening for business before most of us could even finish our plate of Thanksgiving turkey, the unofficial start to the holiday shopping season is officially underway… a lot earlier this year. With retailers no longer waiting until the traditional Black Friday to begin their doorbuster sales, Black Thursday (also dubbed “Grey Thursday”) is inarguably becoming the new norm among retailers anxious to draw customers in early. Shoppers flooded the aisles of Walmart at 6PM on the dot to get their hands on some of the hottest deals, and this data is coming in hot here at InfoScout’s San Francisco headquarters. Here’s a very early look at three major retailers’ top selling items on Black Thursday:




Data collected from the first 5,000 Walmart receipts, 1,000 Target receipts, and 300 Amazon receipts submitted by InfoScout Panelists on ‘Black Thursday’ (Thanksgiving Day).

Black Friday Console War

Note this is for Black Friday 2013, click here to go to the 2014 post.

Which gaming console took over living rooms this Black Friday… the newly hyped PS4, Xbox One, or Wii U? Or, would the incumbent PS3, Xbox 360, and Nintendo Wii consoles hold their ground?


Both Xbox consoles dominated sales on Friday, jointly accounting for 61% of the console market. Their success can be largely attributed to limited availability of the PS4 in addition to Walmart discounting the Xbox 360 down to $99 for Black Friday.

The majority of console consumers were in the giving mood on Friday as 80% purchased the item as a gift, though 10% of those admitted it would likely get pulled out from under the tree before Christmas.

Of users that purchased a console, 85% reported they plan to purchase 2+ video games during the holiday period. In fact, consumer spending on console games surpassed spending on consoles themselves this Black Friday.

Black Friday - Top Games
Here’s what consumers had to say about the gaming consoles…

PlayStation 4

“Too much hype when Sony doesn’t produce enough”

“Expensive. Games are expensive.”

“It’s too high tech none if the older ps games will work with it and everything is way to expensive I think it’s more for the adults.”

“My oldest child wanted a playstation I have no opinion.”

Xbox One

“It’s the only system that has the game my kids want. I’m not happy about it.”

“Waiting to see the first ‘Must have game'”

Xbox 360

“I think its a great system, with the Kinect, the family can get up and move around”

Nintendo Wii

“Fun for kids and families. Love the old school games that you can download”

“Older technology, so less expensive”
Data methodology:
Of over 102k shopping receipts tracked by InfoScout on Black Friday, slightly over 1,500 included purchases of a gaming console or console game. The data includes purchases at all major retailers carrying electronics including Walmart, Target, Best Buy, GameStop, RadioShack, and others. For more information related to our data and panel representation, visit our data page.

Black Friday Updates

It’s that time of year! Given there are six less holiday shopping days this year compared to 2012, retailers are getting an early start and opening their doors earlier than ever before. Stay with us as we continue to post Black Friday updates throughout the day…

JC Penney versus Macy’s on Thanksgiving Day

JC Penney needs a blockbuster holiday season to stay afloat and all indications are that they’re off to a good start. Early data from the shopping activity of 125,000 Americans in InfoScout’s consumer panel indicate that JC Penney managed to draw just as many shoppers and sales as its much larger rival, Macy’s, during Thanksgiving Day. JC Penney’s sales per shopper increased by 12% on the day, while the number of shoppers in their stores increased by 2.5-times its normal volume.

Walmart v. Target 

One-third of Americans planning to shop in-stores this Black Friday will start their shopping at Walmart and another quarter (24%) will start their day at Target, leaving all other retailers pursuing what’s left-over in shoppers’ wallets.

While doorbuster deals and ‘everyday low prices’ may be the easiest explanation, new data from InfoScout says that’s only half the story. The company surveyed 500 members of its shopper panel this morning to find out what drove their first choice when deciding where to shop this Black Friday. Surprisingly, one of the biggest differentiators in Walmart’s favor appears to be Walmart’s early opening hours, followed by the convenience of its 4,000+ locations. Target benefits from offering a greater selection of popular gift items at doorbuster prices.

Screen Shot 2013-11-29 at 1.19.19 PM

Department Stores race to Christmas, who’s taken the early lead?

InfoScout’s 125,000 consumer panelists are submitting pictures of their shopping trip receipts in real-time this Black Friday and early data indicates strong performances from both Kohl’s and J.C. Penney.  Kohl’s average shopping basket today is $93 versus $73 in the days leading up to Black Friday.  This compares favorably to Department Store king Macy’s who is seeing smaller baskets than usual this Black Friday at $57 per trip.   J.C. Penney’s gaining the most share among its peers – something it must do throughout this holiday season to keep the lights on according to many industry analysts.

… stay tuned as we publish more findings throughout the day!