Of the three console makers, which one "won" Black Friday? One marketing study says PlayStation, by comfortable margins in the two age groups buying the most video games in the United States.
InfoScout, which tracks purchases made by a network of 300,000 users over three mobile apps, says Sony saw a large gain among the millennial audience (ages 18 to 35) and a modest pickup among middle-aged consumers (ages 36 to 55). That is compared to those demographics' purchasing decisions on an average day as compared to Black Friday, with its multitudes of discounts, bundles and other enticements to buy.
Last year, the same firm scored Xbox the winner, in total percentage of consoles sold on Black Friday.
Among millennials, InfoScout says PlayStation took 7 percent of the market directly from Xbox. Microsoft's consoles normally accounted for 39 percent of buys on regular days, but only 32 percent on Black Friday, says InfoScout. That's compared to PlayStation, which stood at 40 percent on ordinary shopping days, but 48 percent on retailing's biggest holiday.
Among middle-aged consumers, Xbox did increase slightly — 37 percent on Black Friday, up from 35 percent on other days. So did PlayStation, to 33 percent from 30 percent. Both did so at the expense of Nintendo, which declined to 30 percent from 34 percent.
Nintendo held its position with millennials, more or less, at 19 percent of Black Friday buys (compared to 20 percent otherwise). Despite the flat trend, InfoScout says it suggests that platform has a greater nostalgic appeal to 1990s kids than it does to Gen Xers, even though millenials are regarded by marketers as pickier consumers who place less emphasis on brand loyalty.
InfoScout says the study was based on an analysis of more than 250,000 receipts captured by InfoScout users on Thanksgiving night and Black Friday.
In other analyses, Infoscout took a look at the top-selling items at major retailers across the U.S. In what has to be the least surprising result in the history of marketing, Wrangler men's jeans came in No. 1 at Walmart, in terms of units sold.
Tech buys accounted for many of the top spots elsewhere. The Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection PlayStation 4 bundle was Best Buy's biggest seller in terms of whole dollars spent. The Amazon Fire 7-inch tablet, at $34.99, was the top seller in numbers of units at Best Buy, as well as at Amazon itself (where it was also the leader in whole dollars spent). And at Walmart, Disney Infinity figurines and cards for Xbox Live Gold memberships both placed in the top 10.