Summer closes with a slightly less thunderous clap than we’d expected as NPD’s retail estimates for the gaming industry’s health reveal how well sales of new gaming hardware and software were for August 2017. Cory Galliher and Nathan Evans are at the ready, calculators and coffee-fueled opinions in hand, to consider and evaluate what’s shaking and baking across the country. While sales are down all-around for the month, overall things aren’t quite the apocalyptic disaster they might’ve been.
Note: is that a new NPD logo we spy out in the wild? Looking good, guys!
In stark contrast to the overall growth we’ve seen over the past several months, total sales of new gaming hardware and software was down a slight 2 percent from last year ($568 million from $578 million). A major factor for the decline were new hardware sales, which dropped a noticable 6 percent over last year ($168 million frmo $179 million). Despite the slight declines for the month, NPD reports that total sales for new hardware is up a healthy 17 percent over last year, owing mostly to new Nintendo Switch and NES Classic consoles.
Speaking of console sales, Nintendo’s Switch remains the best-selling system for the month, followed by Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One. Sony’s console is still tops overall for the year, but it will be interesting to see how supposed ‘supply constraints’ and the launch of the more powerful Xbox One X affect future reports, especially as we head into the busiest shopping season of the year. Hello, holidays!
As much fun as new hardware is, it’s the games that count, and this month fans counted them a’plenty. Sales of new console games were down a familiar 2 percent over last year ($271 from $276 million), while new PC game sales fell a more troubling 23 percent from last year ($11 million from $15 million). While EA Sports’ Madden 18 took the top spot and Sony’s Uncharted: The Lost Legacy bold debuted strong, the real story for the month is Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto V, which broke records for its never-ending appearance, charting in the Top Ten for 41 of the 49 months it’s been available. Looks like taking a quality game and constantly supporting it with upgrades, enhancements, and add-ons is one way to keep fans happy.
In more encouraging news, sales of new gaming accessories were up a sweet 10 percent from last year ($118 million over $108 million). Despite the near-collapse of collectible toys and figures (i.e. Skylanders, all the others), upticks in new controllers and headsets helped turn the tide. It’s nice see all those new console owners buying goodies to use with them; NPD singles out Sony and Turtle Beach headsets as biggest drivers for the sales uptick, with the Xbox One S White Wireless Controller being the month’s biggest-selling controller and the Switch’s Pro Controller the best-overall selling accessory for the year-to-date.
Top Twenty Software: Touchdown!
01. Madden NFL 18
02. Grand Theft Auto V
03. Uncharted: The Lost Legacy
04. Splatoon 2
05. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
06. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege
07. Mario Kart 8
08. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered
09. Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy
11. Injustice 2
12. Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands
14. For Honor
15. Call of Duty: Black Ops III
16. Agents of Mayhem
17. Forza Horizon 3
18. Battlefield 1
19. NBA 2K17
20. UFC 2