In brief: Figures for July’s hardware sales have arrived, and, as expected, they show a downturn as consumers hold back their spending until the arrival of the next generation of consoles.
According to the latest report from the NPD Group, hardware spending by US consumers in July was down 22 percent year-over-year, falling from $217 million to $169 million. Year-to-date hardware spending is also down, 21 percent to $1.5 billion, with the Nintendo Switch being the only console to have experienced year-to-date gains. It was also the best-selling hardware platform of July.
While this sort of downturn would typically be a concern, there’s an apparent reason why fewer people are buying new hardware: the next PlayStation and Xbox are arriving next year, so why spend money on a current console. There’s also Nintendo’s Switch Lite, which is set to launch this September, and Nintendo is reportedly planning more versions of its machine in the future.
Fewer people might be buying hardware, but software sales were up 34 percent YoY in July, going from $253 million to $340 million. Madden NFL was the month’s best-selling game (dollar sales), followed by Fire Emblem: Three Houses and Super Mario Maker 2. NPD analyst Mat Piscatella said (via VentureBeat) that six of July’s top ten games were Nintendo platform exclusives.
As for the best-selling games of 2019, Mortal Kombat 11 tops the charts, followed by Kingdom Hearts III and Tom Clancy’s The Division 2. Despite what some politicians and Walmart might believe, these include a mix of non-violent and Mature titles.
Finally, video game accessories and game cards also saw a yearly drop, down from $289 million to $254 million, though this may increase later in the year, with people buying new Switch Lite accessories and Sony’s new DualShock 4 controllers.