As consumers await the arrivals of Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s PlayStation 4 this fall, sales of video game hardware, software and accessories in the US took another hit declining 19% to US$443 million in July.
However, this sales figure, according to NPD data, only represents half of the total consumers spend on games. When factoring in used and rental games and digital sales – including mobile apps, content downloads, micro-transactions, subscriptions and social games – the total spend comes in at just under US$1.2 billion.
For hardware sales, Nintendo’s portable 3DS system led the way for the third-consecutive month with a 14% sales increase (140,000 units) versus July a year ago, and while the Xbox 360 maintained its top spot in console sales for the 31st straight month, only 107,000 units were sold marking a 47% decline.
On the software side, total sales for current-generation consoles fell 19% to US$210.1 million, but on a brighter note, software sales for the 3DS experienced double-digit growth led by successful titles such as Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon and Animal Crossing: New Leaf. No software figures were given for Nintendo’s underachieving Wii U console, which saw a 50% sales drop last quarter, compared to the preceding quarter with just 160,000 units sold.
Notably, popular block-building game Minecraft moved up to second place in physical retail sales across all platforms from the third spot versus July a year ago.
For accessories including toys that interact with games and gift cards, sales decreased 3% to US$133.4 million, but because more gamers are seeking digital content, July saw the best sales for point and subscription cards on record.