As we head into the busiest shopping season of the year, one last month of (relative) calm before the dam completely bursts means a few surprises for some, and complete predictability for others. When you’re talking videogame sales, it’s difficult to say which is which. That’s why we’ve got our resident number nerds Cory Galliher and Nathan Evans, back once again to take on the NPD’s estimates for relative retail health for the month of September 2017. And let’s just say it: it was a very good month.
If the gaming industry ever needed a boost, it was now, and boy…did they get one in September. Total sales of new gaming hardware and software were up an astounding 39 percent from last year ($1.21 billion over $872 million). It’s not difficult to see where the jump came from; in-demand new hardware from Nintendo, both Switch and SNES Classic, combined with a wildly successful launch of Activision’s Destiny 2 all meant Solid Gold for those involved. In the case of Destiny 2, it’s already the best-selling game of the year only a month after release. In a year that saw huge sales for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, that’s a huge accomplishment.
On the hardware side of things, it was Nintendo’s month to shine. New gaming hardware led the charge, up an impressive 34 percent over last year ($316 million over $245 million). While the Switch was the best-selling home console, besting Sony’s PS4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One, it was their SNES Classic that actually moved the most units. NPD notes that the PS4 is still the best-selling console for the year, but even that might change when the dust of what’s sure to be a wild holiday season clears. We haven’t heard much about how Microsoft’s Xbox One is fairing, though, but that’s sure to change, too, with all eyes on the upcoming Xbox One X.
Things really get interesting when looking at sales of new console software, which was up a great 52 percent over last year ($726 million over $477 million). You can thanks a bevvy of new and existing blockbusters, led by Activision’s Destiny 2 (the year’s best-seller already), as well as a trio of heavy-hitting sports titles from EA Sports and 2K Games. Nintendo software, all exclusives, were well represented for the month, too, including the well-received Mario & Rabbids which has the distinction of becoming the best-selling third-party game on the new Nintendo platform.
Sales of new PC software also saw a nice bump, up 20 percent over last year ($18 million over $22 million). As Cory points out, however, these numbers don’t include Destiny 2, which wasn’t released for PC in the period.
Even sales of new gaming accessories, which includes controllers and game cards, saw a nice bump, up 9 percent over last year ($150 million over $138 million). Nintendo’s Pro Controller for Switch remains the best-selling accessory of the year, while Sony’s DualShock 4 Wireless Controller Black was the best-seller for the month.
Top Twenty Software: Loadout!
01. Destiny 2
02. NBA 2K18
03. Madden NFL 18
04. FIFA 18
05. Mario & Rabbids: Kingdom Battle
06. Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite
07. Grand Theft Auto V
08. NHL 18
09. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
10. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege
11. Mario Kart 8
12. Metroid: Samus Returns
13. Pokkén Tournament DX
15. Ark: Survival Evolved
16. Uncharted: The Lost Legacy
17. NBA Live 18
18. Splatoon 2
19. Crash Bandicoot: The N. Sane Trilogy