The PlayStation 4 was the best-selling piece of hardware in a huge month for console sales.
U.S. consumers spent $1.025 billion on new physical games, hardware, and game-related accessories in March, according to industry-intelligence firm The NPD Group. That’s up 3 percent from the same period in 2013. PlayStation 4 and Xbox One once again did their part in lifting these numbers. Gamers spent $395 million on new machines, and this is up a massive 78 percent year-over-year. The PS4 outsold the Xbox One and all other machines, according to NPD.
“As seen in the past few months, hardware sales for March 2014 saw strong growth over March 2013,” NPD analyst Liam Callahan said in a statement. “Sales increases were driven completely by consoles sales due mainly to continued success from the PS4 and Xbox One.”
Software sales once again underperformed as gamers only spent $406 million, which is down 27 percent from $555 million in 2013. This is likely due to slow spending on games for older systems. Releases on PS4 and Xbox One have little issue performing well despite the much smaller owner base compared to Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
As always, it’s important to keep in mind that the NPD only includes new physical goods sold at brick-and-mortar stores. That means used and digital sales don’t affect these figures. It’s best to look at this information as a snapshot of a much larger and more dynamic market.
With that out of the way, let’s get to the top-selling game chart.
1. Titanfall (Xbox One, PC)
2. Infamous: Second Son (PS4)
3. South Park: The Stick of Truth (360, PS3, PC)
4. Call of Duty: Ghosts (360, PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Wii U, PC)
5. Dark Souls II (PS3, 360)
6. Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes (PS4, Xbox One, PS3, 360)
7. NBA 2K14 (360, PS4, PS3, Xbox One, PC)
8. Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster (PS3, Vita)
9. The Lego Movie Videogame (360, PS3, 3DS, Wii U, Xbox One, PS4, Vita)
10. Minecraft (360)
Titanfall did as well as industry watchers expected. It was the top-selling game of the month. The Electronic Arts sci-fi shooter, which was only available on Xbox One and PC in March, was highly anticipated among core gamers. That translated into it topping the chart.
“Titanfall was the top-selling game for March 2014, with a solid attach rate to the Xbox One,” said Callahan. “After one month of sales, it is currently the second-highest selling game for the Xbox One.”
Developer Sucker Punch’s PS4 exclusive Infamous: Second Son also performed well. It landed at No. 2.
March wasn’t all about Xbox One and PS4 blockbusters. Titanfall and Infamous were just two of a number of new game launches for the month. That list includes South Park: The Stick of Truth at No. 3, Dark Souls II at No. 5, and Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes at No. 6. Those three were all multiplatform, but each failed to perform as well as the PS4-only Infamous. This illustrates the thirst that consumers have for content on the new systems.
Monthly regulars like Call of Duty, NBA 2K14, and Minecraft all returned to top 10. Minecraft has made this list seven out of its last 10 months. That’s especially impressive because the disc version didn’t debut until a year after the Xbox Live Arcade release, which didn’t launch until a year after the PC game’s official release.
Finally, Yoshi’s New Island was the 10th best-selling game of the month on an individual platform, but it was also one of the first 3DS new releases not to debut on the overall top-10 list.
This is the month that matters. Well, they all matter, but both Microsoft and Sony had big exclusives for their systems in March. We might now finally get an idea how much Titanfall and Infamous: Second Son helped out their respective boxes.
“In March 2014, Sony’s PS4 led hardware sales for the third month in a row,” said Callahan.
As part of these NPD results, Microsoft confirmed that it sold 311,000 Xbox Ones. Estimates put PS4 at around 370,000.
“Today’s NPD report confirmed that PlayStation 4 was No. 1 in sales for March and extended its cumulative lead for next generation game consoles, despite continued supply constraints,” PlayStation brand-marketing boss Guy Longworth said. “NPD also highlighted that PlayStation sold the most total consoles and demand for Infamous: Second Son was extremely strong.”
It’s clear that both boxes are selling very well.
“PS4 and Xbox One continue to see success with cumulative sales of the two consoles through the first five months currently totaling more than double that of their predecessors, the PS3 and Xbox 360,” said Callahan.
That matches up with the worldwide sales for PS4. Sony revealed earlier this week that it has sold 7 million PS4s worldwide as of early April. That’s twice what PS3 sold through that same period of its lifecycle.