Total video game spending in the U.S. across hardware, content and accessories reached $5.6 billion in March, per the NPD Group. This is a record for the month and 18 percent higher when compared to a year ago.
Industry analyst Mat Piscatella indicates in the report that dollar sales of video game hardware hit $680 million, 47 percent higher than a year ago and another March record. Meanwhile, year-to-date hardware spending totaled $1.4 billion, an increase of 81 percent compared to a year ago.
As previously speculated, the PlayStation 5 console — which has only been on the market for five months — is the fastest selling console in U.S. history, in both unit and dollar sales. For the month of March, the Nintendo Switch, which has the ability to be played hand-held or docked, was the best-selling hardware platform.
In terms of games, Activision Blizzard’s Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War topped the monthly best-sellers chart for March. During Activision’s fourth-quarter financials briefing in February, the publisher revealed that the first-person shooter franchise had over 100 million active monthly players across its premium and free-to-play modes during the final three months of 2020 amid the ongoing pandemic.
NPD’s chart list for March showed high interest in Capcom’s action-role playing (RPG) game Monster Hunter: Rise, landing in second position followed by Square Enix’s third person RPG Outriders.
Nintendo’s Super Mario 3D World and Sony’s Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales ranked in fourth and fifth position, followed by Mario Kart 8, which is the best selling racing game in U.S. history. Also included in the top ten were Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, Nintendo’s Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
Accessory spending was also up, reaching $300 million in March, an increase of 26 percent as compared to a year ago. The PS5 DualSense wireless controller led dollar sales for the month.