July 2014 NPD: PS4 was No. 1 once again

Above: Sony's PlayStation 4 console.

Image Credit: Sony

Gamers are still spending most of their money on new hardware.

In July, U.S. consumers spent $514.3 million on new gaming hardware, software, and accessories, according to industry-tracking firm The NPD Group. That’s up 16 percent over last year’s $443.1 million. The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One once again accounted for the bulk of that spending.

The U.S. spent more than $15 billion on console games alone last year, and 2014 is on pace to easily eclipse that.

“Similar to the pattern seen in seven out of the last nine months, strong growth in hardware sales offset declines in software sales in July 2014 while accessory sales had modest growth,” NPD analyst Liam Callahan said.

Gamers spent $198.8 million on consoles. That’s up a whopping 100 percent year-over-year. Putting that kind of cash into new systems, however, means that players spent 15 percent less, or only $178.2 million, on new software than in July 2013.

“Two other factors caused declines seen in July 2014 software sales,” said Callahan. “Reduced sales for new launches and the decline in [last-gen] software not entirely being offset by [new-gen] sales.”

The NPD numbers do not represent the industry as a whole. Instead, the firm only tracks new games sold at physical retailers in the U.S. This means that you won’t see used games, digital, or mobile contributing to these figures. With that in mind, the NPD is an OK method to get a snapshot of a much larger market.

Alright, let’s get right into it with game sales.


1. The Last of Us (PS4, PS3)
2. Minecraft (360, PS3)
3. FIFA 14 (360, PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Vita)
4. Watch Dogs (PS4, 360, PS3, Xbox One, PC)
5. Mario Kart 8 (Wii U)
6. Call of Duty: Ghosts (Xbox One, 360, PS4, PS3, Wii U, PC)
7. Grand Theft Auto V (360, PS3)
8. Sniper Elite III (PS4, Xbox One, 360, PS3)
9. NBA 2K14 (360, PS3, PS4, Xbox One, PC)
10. Lego Marvel Super Heroes (360, PS3, 3DS, DS, PS4, Wii U, Xbox One, Vita, PC)


Above: Joelderas is impressed.

July has a lot of older games and rereleases. Most notably, The Last of Us on PS4 was able to take the top spot. Interestingly, it did the same in July 2013. Minecraft continues to dominate despite its age, and FIFA 14 likely got one last push from the World Cup.

New releases in July performed extremely poorly compared to the same period last year for one very obvious reason: the lack of college football.

“July is typically a quiet month for software sales, representing about 5 percent of annual sales,” said Callahan. “Typically, EA’s NCAA Football launches in July, and often ranks as the top game. As that title is no longer being produced, new launch sales declined steeply by close to 70 percent in July 2014.”

While the 3DS doesn’t have a game on the overall top 10, when ranked by sales-per-platform, Nintendo’s portable would have Tomodachi Life at No. 5.

As for new-gen, gamers bought more software on PS4 than Xbox One.


Sony confirmed that the PlayStation 4 was once again the top-selling console for the seventh month in a row. The company confirmed earlier this week that it has sold more than 10 million PS4s worldwide, but Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft have all declined to share specific sales numbers for July.

“When combining life-to-date sales of Xbox One and PS4 after nine months, and comparing them to the combined totals of nine months of sales for Xbox 360 and PS3, sales of the newest consoles are larger than the prior generation by close to 80 percent,” said Callahan.

Nintendo confirmed that Wii U sales are up 60 percent through the first seven months of 2014 compared to the same period last year. That’s largely due to the popularity of Mario Kart 8.

Microsoft also released a statement, but it was even less specific than Nintendo.

“Xbox One continues to sell at a strong and steady pace following the release of the $399 console in June, when month-to-month sales more than doubled,” a Microsoft spokesperson told GamesBeat. “We continued to see this momentum in July.”

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Chris Hutchinson
Chris Hutchinson

I don't ever see this trend changing, now ps4 has hit 10 mil sony will really have to drop the ball for he x1 to catch up


@MajorYnos Wow they brought up the double sales from last month smh. You know things were bad this month.

Herp Derp
Herp Derp

@Robert Perez Sony is on its way to recovering from years of losses and recently posted a quarterly profit as almost all of their divisions were profitable. They are not going bankrupt.

Sony has total assets worth US$148.9 billion dollars, yearly revenue of $75+ billion, and $27+ billion in total equity. It is still one of the largest corporations on the planet with 150,000+ employees, ranked #233 in The World's Biggest Public Companies on Forbes, and ranked #94 on the Fortune 500 2013.

One rating agency's opinion on Sony's stock means almost nothing. Sony is recovering in finances, it posted a profit last quarter with almost all divisions reporting a profit including the Games division, and its stock price is stable or rising recently.

Sony is selling or splitting off their lossy businesses (Vaio, TVs) and focusing on their profitable divisions. This means they'll soon cut their losses and start turning a profit. Sony is in for a year or two of losses and restructuring, then provided their profitable divisions stay profitable, they'll be on solid ground.

The games division is in a net profit, posted a profit last quarter, and is well funded. Sony Computer Entertainment employs over 8,000 people working on Playstation across 50 countries. PSN is vastly improved and Sony is continually investing more into improving it.

Macroaxis probability of bankruptcy declined from 79% to 44% and continues to shrink to this day, indicating a recovery.

A single rating agency downgraded their opinion on Sony debt, it means almost nothing, there are MULTIPLE rating agencies and they all amount to investor's opinions, not directly relating to Sony's finances.

As an example, streetinsider currently has 10 investment firms with a BUY rating on Sony stock, 5 hold, and zero sell. That's likely due to Sony posting an operating profit last quarter, and stocks rising in the last 3 months.

The picture is more complicated (and upward looking) than the link you posted. Sony's finances have improved since then.

It's sad PS4 is dominating so badly that ignorant fanboys are left desperately wishing Sony would go bankrupt. Look up Sony on Wikipedia, Forbes, Google, Sony's quarterly reports, etc. and start reading instead of blindly flinging fanboy crap. You might learn something.

Justyn Yahle
Justyn Yahle

@Robert Perez Guy.. Guy.. relax.. It isn't the end of the world.. Sony is probably got this generation on lock down, but that doesn't mean that the Xbox one is "losing". They are both doing well, regardless of what anyone says..

You keep bringing up Japan like Xbox is even going to get a second look over there. It won't.. It is ridiculous how little Japanese care about console gaming anymore, they are into the Mobile fad. That's their thing.. The reason people bring up the U.S. Is because Microsoft was considered the dominant brand here last generation, and they had a firm hold on the market. Microsoft Never had a strong hold on the market anywhere else.. nor will it release anywhere else, that will put a huge dent into the sales. 

Microsoft practically stayed in the lead last generation from the amount of sales it had in the US Alone. That is a significant factor when talking about these regions. None of the regions left for Microsoft to launch in can even be reasonably considered coming close to the weight that US / Europe and the other markets they are already launched in, so don't kid yourself with this… but but but we haven't reached a global launch yet! It is really a diversion tactic. Same with "Sony's future as a whole looks bleak", when they just posted Net Profit for the first time in a few years.. That's interesting isn't it? But ya'll still calling for the pitch forks.. The Same can be said with Microsoft.. they are considering dropping everything but software.. which means Xbox division buddy.. So how about you get more educated on the situation / matters at hand, and stick to knowledge about your own system, instead of spreading false "truths" about consoles you don't even have or know anything about for the sake of defending your precious.

mike olson
mike olson

Npd only covers the US. Those countries won't help. Sony's stock has been climbing. Look at a newer article.

Herp Derp
Herp Derp

@kenjitillman @MajorYnos Xbox One sold 197k in June NPD, down to 131k in July NPD. August NPD doesn't look good either. The $400 SKU was only a temporary bump not the start of a recovery.

mike olson
mike olson

Nothing else has helped it, so I doubt that will.

Blake Fortner
Blake Fortner

It says Microsoft declined sharing their sales numbers therefore you don't know how well they are doing because its unclear... Dipshit -_-

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