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US games spending fell 11% on weak software market - NPD

Switch drove hardware gains in May, but Injustice 2's success couldn't prevent a 20% drop in software sales

The positive impact of the Nintendo Switch on hardware sales couldn't prevent US games spending falling 11% in May, largely due to a significant decline in the software market.

According to the NPD Group's May report, hardware spending increased 7% year-on-year to $147 million, with the Nintendo Switch credited as the "primary catalyst" for those gains.

Sony's PlayStation 4 was the best-selling hardware platform in May 2017, and the console generation is healthy overall: NPD's data puts the combined installed base of PS4 and Xbox One 29% higher than the PS3 and Xbox 360 after 43 months on sale.

Despite the recent improvement in hardware sales, total spending - which includes hardware, software and accessories - declined 11% overall to $542 million.

The reason is the software market, NPD said, which suffered due to a lack of strong releases. The best-selling game of the month was Warner Bros. Interactive's Injustice 2 - which also topped the UK chart on its debut week - with Mario Kart 8 in second place, and Grand Theft Auto V in third.

However, relative to a May 2016 release slate that included Uncharted 4, Overwatch and Doom, last month saw dollar sales fall by 20% to $271 million.

  • 1. Injustice 2 (Warner Bros. Interactive)
  • 2. Mario Kart 8 (Nintendo)
  • 3. Grand Theft Auto V (Take-Two Interactive)
  • 4. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo)
  • 5. Prey (Bethesda Softworks)
  • 6. Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Wildlands (Ubisoft)
  • 7. Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadow of Valentia (Nintendo)
  • 8. NBA 2K17 (Take-Two Interactive)
  • 9. MLB 17: The Show (Sony)
  • 10. Overwatch (Blizzard)

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Matthew Handrahan avatar
Matthew Handrahan: Matthew Handrahan joined GamesIndustry in 2011, bringing long-form feature-writing experience to the team as well as a deep understanding of the video game development business. He previously spent more than five years at award-winning magazine gamesTM.
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