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PS4, Tekken 7 drive June US game sales - NPD

Hardware was up 27% y-o-y thanks to PS4 and Nintendo Switch

The NPD Group's report for June shows that total spending on games rose 7% in the US, totaling $765 million. While video games software on consoles (physical and digital) was only up 1% to $343 million and PC software increased just 2% to $32 million, hardware is what led the most growth for the industry, yielding a 27% bump to $231 million.

Much of the hardware growth was attributable not to Switch this time, but Sony's PS4. According to NPD analyst Mat Piscatella, "The PlayStation 4 was June's best-selling hardware platform, driven by the Slim PlayStation 4 system in Gold with 1TB HDD. It was the best performing June for PlayStation 4 unit sales to date."

That being said, 2017 has clearly benefitted from a Switch-driven surge. Piscatella continued, "Year-to-date, hardware spending has grown 19 percent versus 2016 to $1.4 billion. The Nintendo Switch has been the catalyst for year-to-date growth." Unsurprisingly, the portables market continues to see declines. NPD said that spending on portable hardware this year has dropped 40%.

As for software in June, Bandai Namco's Tekken 7 managed to grab the top spot in the charts (see top 20 below). It could be that fighting games are seeing somewhat of a resurgence. As Piscatella pointed out, "June marks the second consecutive month that a newly-released Fighting game has topped the sales chart (Injustice 2 was May's top seller)."

And in a blast from the past, Crash Bandicoot appears to be leveraging the nostalgia wave that's hit the industry recently. "Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy had a strong debut, reaching number 4 on the month's top-seller chart despite having only two days in market," noted Piscatella. "Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy is the first Crash Bandicoot franchise game to debut in the top 5 since Crash Bandicoot: Warped, which launched on the Sony PlayStation in November 1998."

Importantly for Nintendo, the company's new IP, Arms, seems to be off to a solid start as well, debuting at #5 on the top 20 chart. With Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Mario Kart 8 still selling, that means Nintendo managed to capture three of the top 10 best-selling games for June. Also impressive is the staying power of Overwatch, which still generates tons of revenue a year after release. "Overwatch entered the NPD charts in June 2016 as the best-selling title of the month. A year later, it remains in the top 10, at #8 in June 2017," Piscatella said.

The one segment of the industry that didn't see gains in June was accessories, which saw sales fall 1% to $159 million. The biggest contributor to the decline was Interactive Gaming Toys (aka toys-to-life) which saw June 2017 spending falling 40% compared to June 2016. Meanwhile, gamepad sales grew 22% percent in June largely thanks to the PS4's DualShock 4, which was the month's top-selling gamepad.

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*** and ^ indicate lack of digital sales

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