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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.

*** and ^ indicate lack of digital sales
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James Brightman


James Brightman has been covering the games industry since 2003 and has been an avid gamer since the days of Atari and Intellivision. He was previously EIC and co-founder of IndustryGamers and spent several years leading GameDaily Biz at AOL prior to that.