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NPD: January sales down 26% year-over-year

Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot tops charts as hardware spending declines 35% year-over-year

2020 game sales are off to a rough start in the US. The NPD Group today released its US sales report for January, showing steep drops in spending on game hardware and software.

For the January reporting period, NPD tracked total game spending (hardware, physical software, full-game digital sales from selected publishers, accessories and game cards) of $678 million, down 26% year-over-year.

When looked at individually, hardware and software performance was even worse. Hardware sales were down 35% to $129 million, with Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One all declining year-over-year. NPD analyst Mat Piscatella pointed to late-cycle hardware dynamics for the decline, noting that Switch led its competitors in both systems sold and money brought in.

Software sales were down 31% year-over-year to $311 million, with a lighter release slate named as a culprit. January 2019 saw the releases of Kingdom Hearts III and Resident Evil 2, providing a tough comparison. January's best-seller charts only featured one new release, Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot, but it was the best-selling game of the month. Elsewhere in the software charts, Piscatella noted that Nintendo's Ring Fit Adventure finished ninth, which represents the fitness game's highest chart placement since its October debut.

Accessories and game cards were the best-performing part of the market compared to last year, bringing in $238 million for a decline of 11%. That total was helped by Xbox Elite Series 2 Wireless Controller, which was the best-selling accessory for the third straight month since its launch. According to the NPD, it is the fifth-fastest-selling game accessory in US history.

Here's the US Top 20 (based on dollar sales) for the period between January 5th and February 1, 2020, courtesy of The NPD Group:

  • 1. Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot
  • 2. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2019
  • 3. Madden NFL 20
  • 4. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
  • 5. Grand Theft Auto V
  • 6. NBA 2K20
  • 7. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate*
  • 8. Mario Kart 8*
  • 9. Ring Fit Adventure
  • 10. Red Dead Redemption II
  • 11. Minecraft#
  • 12. Pokemon Sword*
  • 13. Luigi's Mansion 3*
  • 14. Star Wars: Battlefront II 2017
  • 15. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild*
  • 16. Need for Speed: Heat
  • 17. FIFA 20
  • 18. Just Dance 2020
  • 19. Mortal Kombat 11
  • 20. Pokemon Shield*

*Digital sales not included

#Minecraft digital sales on Xbox and PlayStation included

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Brendan Sinclair avatar

Brendan Sinclair

Managing Editor

Brendan joined GamesIndustry.biz in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at GameSpot in the US.