The NPD Group has released its monthly tracking of video game spending in the US today, and the numbers spotlight a record-breaking January. Analyst Mat Piscatella was once again on-hand to break down the figures via Twitter.
First, Piscatella offers an overview of consumer-spending across the entire segment, which shows that hardware, software, and accessories achieved a January record $4.7B, 42% higher when compared to a year ago.
In terms of hardware, sales were 144% higher than in January 2020, reaching $319 million. “This is the highest total for a January month since the $323 million achieved in January 2011,” he remarked.
The Nintendo Switch was the best-selling hardware platform in units sold for the month of January. “Unit sales of Nintendo Switch were the highest of any platform in a January month since the Nintendo Wii in January 2010,” he explained.
Purely in terms of dollar sales, though, Sony’s PlayStation 5 was the best-selling hardware platform in January, with a total that hasn’t been seen since 2009 when Nintendo’s Wii topped the charts.
As for software, it was yet another strong month for Activision’s Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, which ended the month as the best-selling game for the fourth month in a row. It now ranks as the 20th best-selling video game in the US since tracking began.
Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed Valhalla slotted in just behind in second place, proving its staying power after a launch that Ubisoft recently described as the strongest for the franchise ever.
Although, interestingly, Piscatella’s data shows that Assassin’s Creed III us still the fastest-selling game in the franchise over its first three months. Ubisoft’s claims, therefore, likely take into account in-game spending, which was not so much of a factor for Assassin’s Creed III.
Other software highlighted by Piscatella included Animal Crossing New Horizons, which once again put in a strong performance to finish in fifth spot. It has ranked among to top five every month since July 2020.
Finally, spending on video game accessories also set a new record in January, reaching $222 million in the month, 73 percent higher when compared to a year ago. “The Gamepad, Headset/Headphone and Steering Wheel segments all achieved new January dollar sales records,” said Piscatalla. The PS5’s Dualsense was the month’s best-selling accessory overall.
Below you can view a gallery containing all the slides from today’s presentation, recapping the month and year’s best-sellers.
To compare this month’s NPD results with December it’s here.