Nintendo Switch

NPD: Video game sales grew 13% in May

Data from the research group shows that spending across video game hardware, software, accessories and game cards reached US$685 million last month.
June 22, 2018

New data from market research firm The NPD Group shows that spending across video game hardware, software, accessories and game cards in May 2018 was US$685 million, up 13% compared to last year. Year-to-date, spending across the category increased 15% to US$4.9 billion.

In May 2018, growth in hardware, accessories and game cards offset a slight decline in the software category. Software sales across console, portable and PC games reached US$274 million last month, a decline of 4% compared to May 2017.

An exception was the Nintendo Switch (pictured), which saw its software sales grow 90% in May 2018, marking the highest software revenues for any Nintendo platform in the month of May since the Nintendo Wii in May 2011. Nintendo Switch, a home and portable console hybrid, launched in March 2017 and went on to become the fastest-selling home video game system in US history.

Hardware spending in May 2018 grew 26% to US$186 million. Increases were driven by Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s PlayStation 4. Year-to-date hardware spending increased 15% to US$1.3 billion.

Total spending on accessories and game cards grew 30% to US$225 million in May 2018, a record high. NPD data shows that, year-to-date, spending in the category has grown 29% (for a total of US$1.4 billion). Sales of headsets doubled in May compared to the same period in 2017, and year-to-date sales of both headsets and gamepads achieved all-time highs.

This data follows on the heels of The NPD Group’s report that US video game sales reached year-over-year growth of 59% in January, the highest total for that month since 2011. However, a closer look at the data reveals that the number of two- to 12-year-olds playing console games has dropped by 11% since 2013.

Earlier this month at the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles, big tech brands focused on content-driven releases, with Epic Games’ Fortnite Battle Royale launching with Nintendo and kids console game publisher Outright Games announcing that it will partner with crayon-maker Crayola for the upcoming game Crayola Scoot.

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