It’s the new, improved and slightly truncated NPD podcast you’ve come to love from your Popzara Pals, the only numerical-themed podcast focusing on the monthly sales estimates from our equally lovely pals over at The National Purchase Diary indicating the gaming industry’s relative health at retail and a chunk of digital shelves. We say truncated as the monthly numbers have moved away from their middle-month release date to a more appropriate debut – near the start of each month. We’ve moved our schedule to match, meaning our hosts Cory Galliher and Nathan Evans no longer have any good reasons to put them off. Thanks, Mat!
We’re talking about June 2018 here, and what a month it was: total sales of new gaming hardware and software soared a healthy 25 percent over last year ($1.08 billion over $867 million), though that uptick came largely from the former and less then latter.
There’s plenty of new consoles to go around as sales of new hardware rose an incredible 52 percent over last year ($350 million over $231 million). In a surprising twist, it looks like a replenished supply stock helped Nintendo’s retro-packed NES Classic claim the top spot as the month’s best-selling console – though it was Sony’s PlayStation 4 that retained the month’s (and year’s overall) best-selling platform. All signs point to Nintendo’s other console, the Switch, following with Microsoft’s Xbox One platform in third for current-generation platforms. NPD tells us the Switch sold 50 percent more units than last year (hello, supply constraints) while the Xbox One doubled its revenue.
So should the NES Classic be considered an actual “console” in the traditional sense? NPD seems to think so, but – despite our love for the 8-bit retro machine – your favorite number-crunchers think that’s a bit of a stretch.
Sales of new gaming accessories also soared to the heavens, up a fantastic 31 percent over last year ($1.77 billion over $1.36 billion). NPD is quick to note the surge largely comes from gaming headsets and controllers, the most revenue since 2011. A major influence seems to be Epic’s Fortnight, a game that’s not officially registered anywhere on the NPD report yet clearly the single most influential. Sales of new headsets were up an astonishing 86 percent over last year, meaning there’s plenty of trash-talking to go around no matter how you prefer your battle royale matches.
The only sector not experiencing the halo effect of increased revenue was the most obvious metric – the games, which means both new console and PC game sales actually ticked down a mere 1 percent over last year ($374 million from $379 million). It’s not all bad news, however, as Nintendo emerged as the month’s top publisher, pushing a whopping five console exclusives in the Top Twenty (and two in the Top Ten, including the months’ best-seller Mario Tennis Aces). Sony’s PlayStation platform also notched two Top Ten placers, a duo that includes God of War and Detroit: Being Human. GoW also remains the year’s second overall best-seller, which is a lot of 2’s for Kratos’ glorious return.
Top Twenty Software: Momma Mia!
01. Mario Tennis Aces
02. God of War 2018
03. Grand Theft Auto V
04. The Crew 2
05. Far Cry 5
06. Mario Kart 8
07. LEGO Incredibles
08. FIFA 18
09. Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy
10. Detroit: Become Human
11. Super Mario Odyssey
12. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
13. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege
14. NBA 2K18
15. Call of Duty: WWII
16. MLB 18: The Show
17. Assassin’s Creed: Origins
19. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
20. State of Decay 2