The US games market saw the best April for a number of years this year thanks to a surge in hardware sales.
The latest report from the NPD Group shows that spending on gaming hardware shot up by 163 percent year-on-year, topping $420 million. April 2020 saw the highest hardware spending since April 2008 at $427 million. Spending on consoles for the year-to-date so far now stands at $1.2 billion, a rise of 30 percent year-on-year.
The device behind this hardware boost has mostly been the Nintendo Switch. The success of Animal Crossing: New Horizons also hasn’t harmed the console’s popularity. It’s also believed that the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic lockdown procedures in place around the world have only boosted game sales further, particularly hardware.
For April 2020 the Nintendo Switch was the best-selling console in terms of dollar sales and units sold. In fact, the year-to-date dollar sales for the Nintendo Switch are now at the highest they have been for any platform, beating even the Nintendo Wii’s 2009 performance.
While Nintendo did well in April, Microsoft and Sony didn’t do badly at all either. PlayStation 4 and Xbox One sales were driven up by 160 percent year-on-year. Total spending across gaming software, hardware, and accessories and game cards rose by 73 percent year-on-year, hitting a new record for any recorded April spending at $1.5 billion.
Total spending for the year-to-date is up by 12 percent compared to last year at $4.5 billion. The most dollar sales were generated by software at $662 million, another record for any April, beating the previous record holder of April 2008 at $642 million.
So far in 2020 the US has spent over $2 billion on gaming software, which is up by 6 percent year-on-year. The biggest selling game of the month was Final Fantasy 7 Remake, and it’s the third best-selling of the year so far. The game set a new record for both unit and dollar sales in the first month for the franchise, beating Final Fantasy 15’s 2016 performance.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare was the second best-selling game for the month, but is still the best-selling game of 2020 so far, and of the past 12 months. The game is also the fourth fastest-selling in US history, based purely on dollar sales for the first seven months.
Accessories and game cards sales hit $384 million for the month, up by 49 percent year-on-year, pushing year-to-date spending to $1.3 billion, which is up by 8 percent year-on-year. This is thought to be driven, in part, by the surge in console sales. With more console sales come more controller sales, particularly if the console is to be used to play at home with others.
The top 20 best-selling games for April 2020 in the US in terms of dollar sales are as follows.
1. Final Fantasy 7 Remake
2. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
3. Animal Crossing: New Horizons
4. NBA 2K20
5. Grand Theft Auto 5
6. Resident Evil 3 Remake
7. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Campaign Remastered
8. MLB The Show 20
9. Madden NFL 20
10. Red Dead Redemption 2
11. Just Dance 2020
12. FIFA 20
13. Mortal Kombat 11
14. Borderlands 3
15. Predator: Hunting Grounds
16. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
17. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
18. Persona 5 Royal
19. Need for Speed Heat
20. Dragon Ball Z: Karakot