New York – With large portions of the U.S. population quarantined at home due to the coronavirus pandemic, the demand for video games to provide entertainment is growing dramatically. NPD Group's monthly report for March showed that all game-related purchases -- software, hardware and accessories -- totaled $1.6 billion, a 35 percent increase over the same month last year. The dollar figure was the highest recorded since $1.8 billion was spent in March 2008, according to the report. NPD Group executive Rob Liguori wrote Tuesday, "At NPD, we are tracking weekly consumer spending changes across entertainment due to COVID-19. With schools closing and shelter-in-place orders going out across multiple states, U.S. consumers' habits reflect the need to live primarily indoors for the foreseeable future. "While steep transaction declines are being seen across multiple industries during the pandemic, consumer (spending) on entertainment is strong, especially in video games." Software sales were up 34 percent to $739 million, the highest figure since $787 million was spent in March 2011, per NPD Group. Even with the big month, the first-quarter software sales in 2020 were down 8 percent from the first quarter in 2019, to $1.4 billion. Hardware sales reportedly jumped 63 percent to $461 million last month over March 2019. Per NPD Group, the Nintendo Switch set a sales record in March 2020, doubling sales from the same month a year ago. Xbox One and PlayStation 4 also saw their sales figures rise by more than 25 percent, and console purchases in the first quarter grew by 2 percent to $773 million. Game card and accessory purchases were up 12 percent to $397 million last month vs. March 2019. Leading all game sales for the month was Nintendo's new Animal Crossing: New Horizons. The title had the third-best opening month for a Nintendo game, trailing only Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Super Smash Bros. Brawl. "Animal Crossing: New Horizons … truly defined March 2020 for the video game market and the corresponding period of social distancing," NPD Group U.S. games industry analyst Mat Piscatella wrote in a blog post Tuesday. "There is a synthesis between this game and this time in history that will leave the two forever connected in the world of video games.
Big-time athletes were on hand for the reveal of "Call of Duty: Black Ops 4" and sounded off on who they would pick to be on their Black Ops team. With "Fortnite" batting leadoff and many heavy hitters on deck this fall, video game companies are poised to score a new record sales mark this year. During the first six months of 2018, consumers spent $19.5 billion on video game software, consoles and accessories, according to market tracking firm The NPD Group. That's 40 percent higher than during the same period last year, which over the full 12 months resulted in a spending record of $36 billion. By the end of 2018, the U.S. video game industry could tally at least $40 billion, says Mat Piscatella, a games industry analyst at The NPD Group.
Coronavirus-driven lockdown has been a boon for at least one industry. According to a quarterly analysis from market research group NPD, video game spending in the US, which includes sales on games and merchandise, hit historic highs in the first quarter of 2020, reaching $10.86 billion - an almost 10 percent increase over last year. Of that total about $9.5 billion was directly related to the purchasing of video game content, NPD reports. As noted by TechCrunch, the research firm says that lockdown measures are no doubt behind the significant uptick in sales. Nintendo's Switch console has been among the major beneficiaries of an increased demand for playing and buying video games'Video games have brought comfort and connection to millions during this challenging time,' NPD analyst Mat Piscatella told TechCrunch.
Some things just get better with age. The Nintendo Entertainment System is one of those things. Nearly 35 years since its first release in 1985, the NES is still one of the most popular video game consoles on the market -- or, well, the re-released miniature version is. After all, the original Nintendo Entertainment System introduced '80s kids to gaming with a range of now-classic games. Even multiple years down the line, fans still build emulators and attempt to port the games -- in what are sometimes not-so-legal methods.
LOS ANGELES – Microsoft on Sunday unveiled Xbox One X -- billing it as the most powerful video console ever made, and escalating a battle with market king PlayStation. The $499 product was built with the muscle for seamless play on ultra-high definition 4K televisions and will be available worldwide on Nov. 7, according to Xbox team leader Phil Spencer. He introduced the much anticipated Xbox One X, called Scorpio during development, at a Microsoft event ahead of the official opening of the major Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles. Aiming at the hearts of gamers, Microsoft also showed off 42 coming games, with 22 titles being tailored for exclusive play on Xbox One consoles. Independent publishers tend to make blockbuster titles available for play on Xbox, PlayStation and personal computer hardware in an effort to sell creations to as broad an audience as possible.