Summer 2019 is well underway, but that won’t stop us from taking a look backward – to June 2019 as our indefatigable number-crunchers look at, examine, tear apart and analyze the monthly NPD report that gives gaming nerds across the land their best (and only) real look at the health and vitality of the videogame market in the United States. For this June, unfortunately, that snapshot could use a whole lotta happy filters.
They say when it rains, it pours. Let’s take a looksee at one of the industry’s dreariest months in years.
Things get off to a rocky start as total sales of new gaming hardware and software fell a steep 13 percent from last year ($959 million from $1.1 billion), with sales of new gaming hardware responsible for the month’s biggest decline, falling a depressing 33 percent from last year ($235 million from $350 million). Topping the list, once again, was Nintendo’s Switch, which also remains the best-selling hardware for the year.
Much of that decline, however, stems from decreased sale for both Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One platforms, both of which are headed into their sixth years of their generation cycles.
Both prior to – and during – E3 2019 saw “announcements” for bigger, better hardware on the way from both Sony and Microsoft, both promising nearly identical specs and performance upgrades from current PlayStation and Xbox models. If those announcements seem “too soon”, look no further than premature mid-generation upgrades like the PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One X, which may have dimmed some of enthusiasm that usually surrounds the launch of entirely “new” console hardware.
Even sales of new gaming accessories like headsets, gamepads, game cards and more couldn’t weather the decline, falling an unlucky 7 percent from last year ($338 million from $362 million). Have we finally reached peak Fortnite?
If there’s any bright spot in an otherwise dark report, it’s sales of new console + PC software, which only dipped a slight 1 percent from last year ($386 million from $388 million) on the back of new and recent games that consumers clearly wanted.
Taking the top spot was Nintendo’s Super Mario Maker 2, which experienced a franchise-best for their mascot’s latest spinoff series. Coming hot in second is Activision’s Crash Team Racing: Nitro Fueled, another Crash-centered remake that proves there’s life in the old Bandicoot yet. Warner Bros’ Mortal Kombat 11, once again, proves to be a fighting force as it not only comes in third for the month, but remains the year’s best-selling game overall. The only other real surprise-not-surprise was the return of Sony’s Marvel’s Spider-Man to the charts, a super feat no doubt influenced by the arrival of the post-Endgame blockbuster Spider-Man: Far From Home in theaters.
Top Twenty Software: Momma Mia!
01. Super Mario Maker 2
02. Crash Team Racing: Nitro Fueled
03. Mortal Kombat 11
04. Grand Theft Auto V
06. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
07. Marvel’s Spider-Man
08. NBA 2K19
09. Mario Kart 8
10. Days Gone
11. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege
12. Red Dead Redemption II
13. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
14. MLB 19: The Show
15. Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII
16. Tom Clancy’s The Division 2
17. New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe
18. Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey
19. Super Mario Party
20. God of War 2018