The holiday shopping blitz has concluded, and the dust has finally settled over retail counters picked clean and digital stores depleted of every deal and bundle they could stock. As things begin to return to normal so will sales of gaming hardware and software across the land, and few document this change as well as our friends at The NPD Group. Our number-crunchers Cory Galliher and Nate Evans bravely (if we do say so) are back to dive right into these very estimates as they look, talk, and ponder numbers for January 2019 and what they mean.
So what exactly do they mean? Generally speaking, it’s all down, down, down…Let’s begin.
Sales of new hardware seem to be the biggest culprit, falling an even more distressing 28 percent from last year ($199 million from $278 million), with Nintendo’s Switch leading the charge, as well as the only console to show growth year-over-year. Sony’s PlayStation 4 family (both Slim and PS4 Pro) came in second, while Microsoft’s Xbox One polar-consoles – both the least and most expensive options with the S and Xbox One X – came in third.
Sales of new gaming accessories (which include headsets, controllers and game cards), usually the most reliable growth sector on this chart, also felt the downward crunch, falling 12 percent from last year ($267 million from $303 million). We’re not convinced the market for new Fortnight and Apex Legends is tapped out yet, though neither game is represented on NPD’s reporting.
Speaking of reporting, sales of new console and PC gaming software continued the trend, falling an even more worrying 18 percent from last year ($427 million from $520 million), despite a trio of heavy-hitters across the board. NPD reports the main reason for the slide was diminishing software sales for both the PS4 and Xbox One platforms, with (once again) Nintendo’s Switch the only platform to enjoy a software sales bump over last year.
Leading the charge is Square-Enix’s Disney-powered Kingdom Hearts III, followed by the return of one of the most beloved survival-horror entries of all-time with Capcom’s remake of Resident Evil 2. Nintendo’s re-release of New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe nabbed third spot (the highest charting console-exclusive on this list) though console-cousin (and last month’s mega-champ) Super Smash Bros. Ultimate tumbled a bit to fifth place. Rockstar’s cowboy sequel Red Dead Redemption II, also last year’s best-seller, stayed on at sixth place while Namco Bandai’s Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown surprised many with a seventh-place debut while Rockstar’s other blockbuster, Grand Theft Auto V, remains on the list after nearly six years at tenth.
Top Twenty Software: King of our (Disney) Hearts
01. Kingdom Hearts III
02. Resident Evil 2 (2019)
03. New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe
04. Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII
05. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
06. Red Dead Redemption II
07. Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown
08. NBA 2K19
09. Mario Kart 8
10. Grand Theft Auto V
11. Madden NFL 19
12. Tales Of Vesperia
13. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
14. Battlefield V
15. Super Mario Party
17. Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey
18. Marvel’s Spider-Man
19. FIFA 19
20. Super Mario Odyssey