As the near-holiday status of Black Friday 2017 approaches, one final look at the penultimate month of gaming’s biggest sales season awaits those interested in the industry’s health at retail shelves across the nation, both physical and digital. Once again, we’ve got Cory Galliher and Nathan Evans ready and willing to talk numbers, figures, and more as they dish out the best, brightest, and overall analysis from the NPD estimates from October 2017.
As usual, proceed with caution as the following should be taken more as a barometer of the industry’s overall activity as NPD only counts participating retailers in their tallies.
Overall, it was a mixed-bag for the month as total sales of new gaming hardware and software were down a slight 11 percent from last year ($825 million from $932 million), despite strong sales of popular Nintendo hardware. New gaming hardware sales were up a mighty 10 percent ($238 million over $216 million), primarily on the strength of strong Nintendo hardware, namely both the Switch and retro-love machine SNES Classic Edition.
Why NPD counts Nintendo’s emulator as a true ‘game machine’ is a curiosity only they can answer, but there’s no doubt the 16-bit Time Machine is mighty popular. The Switch, however, is the real deal as the hybrid console continues to drive both Nintendo and gaming industry itself into greener money-making pastures.
In other non-Nintendo console news, Sony’s PlayStation 4 continues to be the year’s overall best-seller, while there’s not much to say about Microsoft’s Xbox One, which is about to x-pand with the Xbox One X upgrade. As we saw (or didn’t see) with Sony’s similar mid-generation 4K bump, the PS4 Pro, the jury’s still out how current-gen fans react to having “the most powerful console” available.
The real culprit for the downward spike was new gaming software. Despite having heavy-hitters like new Lord of the Rings, Assassin’s Creed, South Park, and Super Mario choices new gaming sales fell a stark 20 percent from last year ($447 million from $556 million). While all of the above notched franchise-best debuts, things weren’t rosier for new PC games as sales fell 29 percent from last year ($27 million from $38 million). There were high spots, though, with strong sales of sports, role-playing, and racing titles across all platforms.
But it’s strong racing game sales that had the largest effect on sales of new gaming accessories. Despite a slight 7 percent drop from last year ($113 million from $122 million), heavy-hitters like Forza 7 and Gran Turismo Sport helped double sales of new steering wheels from the year prior.
Top Twenty Software: Tolkien Power!
01. Middle-earth: Shadow of War
02. Assassin’s Creed: Origins
03. Super Mario Odyssey
04. South Park: The Fractured But Whole
05. NBA 2K18
06. FIFA 18
07. WWE 2K18
08. Madden NFL 18
09. Destiny 2
10. Forza Motorsport 7
11. Gran Turismo Sport
12. Grand Theft Auto V
13. The Evil Within 2
14. Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
15. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
16. Mario Kart 8
17. Fire Emblem Warriors
18. Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands
19. NHL 18
20. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege