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Resident Evil 7 drives US software spending up 14% - NPD

Total industry sales dipped 4% overall thanks to a decline in hardware spending

The NPD Group has issued its combined physical and digital sales data report for the January period, revealing an overall sales dip of 4% to $611 million. The US industry's software spending actually jumped 14% to $312.5 million (largely thanks to Capcom's Resident Evil 7), but those gains were offset by continued declines in hardware - hardware spending fell 19% to $127 million. Accessories spending also fell 17% to $155 million.

The big winner in January was clearly the new Resident Evil. "With only five days in the market, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard was the best-selling game in January. The last time Capcom had the best-selling game of the month (in dollar sales) was in March 2009 with Resident Evil 5," noted NPD analyst Sam Naji. The other chart-topping games for the month also fared better than last January's titles, said Naji: "Spending on the top five games of the month was 17 percent higher than the top five games of January 2016."

NPD has also started to make a distinction for catalog sales, which can often be a consistent revenue driver for publishers. “This month, we are introducing a defined 'catalog' sales metric, which includes sales of a SKU that occur after the first six months that the product is first available for sale (month 7+). Take-Two Interactive was the #1 publisher for January '17 and was also the top publisher for catalog sales for all of 2016,” Naji explained. Although not explicitly mentioned by NPD, it's fairly obvious that GTA V has been the biggest catalog driver for Take-Two.

On the hardware side, despite the slower sales pace, Sony's PlayStation business continues to dominate consoles. "The PlayStation 4 was the best-selling hardware (in units sold) during January 2017; and for the fourth consecutive month, PlayStation 4 Slim System 500GB Uncharted 4: A Thief's End Bundle was the top-selling PS4 sku (in units sold)," Naji said. Interestingly, the NES Classic Edition has kept some of its momentum from the holiday season, as it was the third best-selling console of the month, NPD pointed out.

NPD's full January chart can be seen below:

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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.