NPD Jan: Record Month Led by Switch & PS5 Sales; Call of Duty Tops Charts Again


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.

About the author

Alex Gibson

Alex was a Senior Editor at Twinfinite and worked on the site between January 2017 and March 2023. He covered the ins and outs of Valorant extensively, and frequently provided expert insight into the esports scene and wider video games industry. He was a self-proclaimed history & meteorological expert, and knew about games too. Playing Games Since: 1991, Favorite Genres: RPG, Action