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NPD: $19.5bn spent on video games in US during first half of 2018

Hardware spending reaches seven-year high, with Xbox One and SNES Classic cited as highlights

The NPD Group has reported US consumers spend $19.5 billion on video game products in the first six months of the year.

This marks an increase of 40 per cent when compared to spending across January to June 2017, with strong growth seen in hardware sales. In fact, first-half spending on hardware was the highest in seven years, rising 21 per cent year-on-year to $1.7 billion.

The NPD highlighted particularly strong sales for Xbox One as well as plug and play devices such as Nintendo's NES and SNES Classic Editions - something that has been a running trend in the firm's recent monthly reports. NES Classic was actually the biggest selling device in June.

However, the majority of revenue still goes on the games themselves. Spending on video games content - which includes full game sales, subscriptions, DLC and microtransactions across PC, console and mobile - rose by 43 per cent year-on-year to $16.9 billion.

NPD reports mobile saw the biggest growth in spending. Across all formats, the games that took the most dollars included everything from the world-conquering Fortnite to casual hits like Candy Crush. Other highlights included PUBG, Roblox and AAA console releases Far Cry 5 and God of War.

Accessories have also sold well during the first half of the year, with sales up by 41 per cent compared to 2017. Sales of headsets and headphones have actually doubled - vendors have previously attributed this in part to the success of Fortnite.

NPD analyst Mat Piscatella said: "I maintain an optimistic outlook for the remainder of 2018, thanks in part to the strong line-up of titles set to be released in the fourth quarter. This, combined with continued strength in hardware and accessory spending, should result in double-digit annual percentage gains for the total market."

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