'Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot' Tops U.S. Video Game Sales List in January

Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot - Publicity - H 2020
Courtesy Bandai Namco

Bandai Namco's role-playing action title was the month's biggest release, but it couldn't offset declines in both hardware and software sales in the U.S.

Overall video game spending in the U.S. was down in January to $678 million, a 26 percent drop year-over-year, according to a report from the NPD Group.

Both hardware and software sales were down more than 30 percent when compared with the same period in 2019, primarily due to the late life cycles of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles (both launched in 2013 and both Microsoft and Sony have next-gen consoles slated to hit the market this holiday) and a weaker slate of January game releases this year.

Bandai Namco's Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot was the month's best-seller. The role-playing game delivered the third-best launch month for any Dragon Ball video game in history, following 2018's Dragon Ball FighterZ and 2003's Dragon Ball Z: Budokai. Specific sales figures were not released.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare took the No. 2 slot for January. The shooter, which launched in October and is a "reimagining" of the 2007 original, generated more than $600 million in its first three days on the market and has gone on to surpass $1 billion in revenue. It was also the best-selling game of 2019.

Modern Warfare's longevity is still a far cry from Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto V, however, which nabbed the No. 5 slot in January (the first time the title has ended a month in the top five since August last year). Grand Theft Auto V is both the best-selling game of the past decade and all-time in the U.S., having sold more than 120 million copies since its launch in 2013.

Overall software spending totaled $311 million for the month, down 31 percent year-over-year.

On the hardware side, Nintendo's Switch remained the best-selling console both in units sold and dollar sales. The result is unsurprising given the Switch has only been on the market since 2017, while its competitors are both nearing the end of their cycle.

Still, Nintendo has enjoyed a lot of success from its Switch family of consoles, as the company has sold more than 52.4 million consoles, making the Switch Nintendo's third-best-selling console ever, behind only 2006's Nintendo Wii (101.6 million sold) and 1983's Nintendo Entertainment System (61.9 million).

Despite Nintendo's success, overall hardware sales still declined 35 percent year-over-year in January to $129 million.

Game accessories and game cards accounted for the rest of January's total sales at $238 million, also down year-over-year by 11 percent. For the third consecutive month, the Xbox Elite Series 2 Wireless Controller was the best-selling accessory.