April showers may bring May flowers, but right now only one gaming company is making it rain – buckets of money, that is: Japanese giant Nintendo’s Switch is having just the type of halo effect on sagging sales many were hoping for, and it couldn’t have come soon enough.
In this flexible episode of the Popzara Podcast our own Cory Galliher and Nathan Evans take a look at what’s driving the gaming industry’s recent growth spurt (spoiler: mushrooms are involved) as they examine NPD’s industry-related estimates for April 2017. With sales of Switch consoles and Switch games selling like hotcakes, it’s clear the industry may once again be playing with power: Nintendo Power.
Total sales of new gaming hardware and software for the month topped $636 million – that’s up a cool 10 percent over last year’s tally ($577 million). Sales of new gaming hardware gathered $195 million, up a sizable 37 percent over last year ($142 million). There’s no doubt where the uptick came from; Nintendo’s Switch continues to be the best-selling game console in the country, followed by Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One consoles.
Sales of new console games were up a slight 6 percent from last year ($304 million over $287 million) on the back of Nintendo-themed best-sellers on the game-starved Switch and even surprise smash Persona 5. For the first time in ages, the top three best-selling games were all Japanese in origin, a fun reminder there’s life yet in the Land of the Rising Sun.
PC gaming, unfortunately, didn’t share the love; sales of new games for the non-console set fell a drastic 57 percent from last year ($11 million from $27 million). There’s not much left to say, frankly.
Sales of new gaming accessories, including controllers, headsets, and other oddities, rose a nice 4 percent over last year ($125 million over $121 million), the loss of plastic collectable toys no doubt offset by scores of new Joy-Con and Pro Controllers leading the way.
Note: in the podcast the guys accidentally refer to Call of Duty: Black Ops III instead of Black Ops II; the older game was, in fact, the real best-seller as the Xbox 360 version was recently added to the Xbox One’s backwards-compatibility roster.
Top Twenty Software: Momma Mia!
01. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
02. Persona 5
03. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
04. MLB 17: The Show
05. Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands
06. Grand Theft Auto V
07. Mass Effect: Andromeda
08. NBA 2K17
10. Call of Duty: Black Ops II
11. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
12. Horizon: Zero Dawn
13. Lego City Undercover
14. Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 Remix
15. Lego Worlds
16. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege
17. Battlefield 1
18. For Honor
19. Nier: Automata