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Nintendo & Octopath Traveler Impress at Retail in July, According to NPD Report

Nintendo Switch 3DS

Nintendo & Octopath Traveler Impress at Retail in July, According to NPD Report

A slightly delayed July report recounting retail sales data across the video game industry has just been released by the NPD Group, and among the key takeaways was the impressive performance of Nintendo across the board, with its exclusive RPG Octopath Traveler leading the way for software sales.

Earlier this month, the official Twitter account for Octopath Traveler proudly announced that the latest Nintendo Switch exclusive JRPG had surpassed one million units sold in less than a month, today’s NPD report confirms the performance was strong enough to see it steal number one for the month’s top 10 best selling games. In fact, Nintendo performed exceptionally well in all corners of the market. The Nintendo Switch was the top-selling hardware platform, Octopath Traveler the best-selling game, and Nintendo took top software publisher honors with over half the top 10 Nintendo Platform exclusives.

Elsewhere, Grand Theft Auto V was the best-selling game of the month on the PS4 and Xbox One, somehow continuing the steamroll five years after its first launch. And spending in the United States on video game’s was up again this month, this time by 14% (17% year to date), despite it being a quiet release window for new games.

The NPD Group’s analysis details the commercial performance of physical game media, both software and hardware, purchased either at retail or via an online sale. The information gives us an interesting insight into the overall market, though it’s worth noting the lack of digital sales doesn’t quite give us the whole picture.

Here’s a breakdown of the report via Mat Piscatella from the NPD Group:


  • July 2018 spending across video game Hardware, Software, Accessories and Game Cards grew 14 percent when compared to a year ago, to $749m. Growth in Hardware and Accessories & Game Card spending offset a decline in Full Game Software sales.
  • YTD spending across video game Hardware, Software, Accessories and Game Cards is up 17% when compared to the same period a year ago, to $6.8B. Growth has occurred across all categories of spending, with Accessories & Game Cards driving the largest dollar growth.
  • Sales of Console, Portable and PC Games Software totaled $246m in July 2018, down 12 percent compared to a year ago. Year to date, software spending is up 5 percent versus year ago, to $2.8B.
  • Octopath Traveler was the best-selling game of July 2018. July is the 2nd consecutive month that a Nintendo Switch exclusive has topped the best-sellers chart (following Mario Tennis Aces in June). Half of July’s top 10 best-sellers are Nintendo platform exclusives.
  • Grand Theft Auto V was the best-selling title of the month of July on both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One platforms. Grand Theft Auto V ranked as the second best-selling title of the month overall.


  • Nintendo Switch is the only platform showing year on year growth in Full Game dollar sales with gains of nearly 70 percent when compared to a year ago. Year to date sales of Full Game software on Nintendo Switch have more than doubled when compared to a year ago.
  • Nintendo is the top-selling Full Game Software Publisher of both July and 2018 year to date.
  • Dollar sales of games rated by the ESRB as either Teen or Everyone have grown 22% YTD, to $1.2B. This accounts for 44% of overall consumer spending on Full Game sales, an increase of 6 share points when compared to YA.
  • Hardware spending in July 2018 grew 19 percent when compared to a year ago, to $217m. Gains were driven by Xbox One, Switch and Plug N Play devices such as the NES Classic.
  • For the 2018 year to date period, HW spending has increased 21% to $1.9B. Spending gains for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Plug N Play devices such as the NES Classic and SNES Classic have driven growth. YTD hardware spending is at its highest level since 2011.
  • Nintendo Switch was July’s best-selling hardware platform in both dollars and units sold. This is the seventh month that Switch has led in hardware dollar sales since launching in March 2017, and the first since December 2017.
  • Unit sales of Nintendo hardware in July 2018 reached its highest point for a July month since 2009.
  • Xbox One hardware sales continue to trend higher. Dollar sales grew nearly 50 percent in July and have now increased by more than 60 percent year to date.
  • Sony’s PlayStation 4 remains the best-selling console hardware platform year to date.

Peripheral hardware

  • Total spending on Accessories and Game Cards grew 49 percent in July 2018 when compared to a year ago, to $286m. This represents a record high for a July tracking period. The previous record was set in July 2017, at $193m.
  • Year to date, Accessories and Game Card spending has grown 33 percent when compared to a year ago, to $2.1B. This is also an all-time high, significantly exceeding the $1.6B generated in the 2016 year to date period.
  • Gamepad spending in July 2018 is an all-time high for a July, besting the previous high set in July 2017 by 24%. Headset/Headphone sales are also at a record high level with sales exceeding the previous high set in July 2015 by over 70%.
  • The Xbox One S White Controller was July’s top revenue-generating Accessory, while the PS4 DualShock 4 Black Controller has driven the highest dollar sales of any Accessory year to date.

Best-Selling Software Overall:

Octopath Traveler
Crash Trilogy
Far Cry 5
Mario Odyssey
The Crew 2
R6 Siege
Mario Tennis Aces
Lego Incredibles
Captain Toad
NBA 2K18

Best-Selling Nintendo Switch Software:

Octopath Traveler
Mario Kart 8
The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild
Super Mario Odyssey
Mario Tennis Aces
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
Splatoon 2
Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy
Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze
Lego Incredibles

Best Selling Nintendo 3DS Software

Pokemon: Ultra Sun
Pokemon :Ultra Moon
Wareioware Gold
Mario Kart 7
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
Super Smash Bros
Super Mario 3D Land
Super Mario Maker
Detective Pikachu

The Best-Selling Games of 2018 So Far

Far Cry 5
God of War (2018)
Monster Hunter: World
Call of Duty: WWII
Grand Theft Auto V
Dragon Ball Fighterz
Mario Kart 8*
NBA 2K18
MLB 18: The Show
Super Mario Odyssey

The Best-Selling Games Over Past 12 Months

Call of Duty: WWII
NBA 2K18
Destiny 2**
Madden NFL 18
Super Mario Odyssey
Far Cry 5
Star Wars: Battlefront II**
Assassin’s Creed: Origins
Grand Theft Auto V
God of War 2018

You can watch Mat Piscatella’s full breakdown of the NPD report in his monthly video analysis.

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