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Video game sales continued to decline in the United States in February, according to industry-tracking firm The NPD Group. And an absence of exciting new game releases helped hold back consoles sales as well. But while people are spending less money on gaming systems, Nintendo Switch hardware sales still surpassed its aging and outgoing competition.

“Nintendo Switch was the best-selling hardware platform of February in both unit and dollar sales,” NPD analyst Mat Piscatella said. “And [it] remains the best-selling hardware platform of the year.”

U.S. gaming fans had few reasons to run to the store to pick up a new gaming system. And while the lack of content hurt sales across all the platforms, the Xbox One and PS4 are also fighting time. Fans are looking ahead to the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.

So February 2020 hardware sales are dealing with a really tough sales environment. And that shows in the results.


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“Hardware spending in February 2020 fell 34% when compared to a year ago, to $183 million,” said Piscatella. “All in-market console platforms declined when compared to a year ago. Annual spending has dropped 35 percent, to $312 million.”

While Switch led hardware sales, Xbox’s Elite controller continues to dominate accessories

In the accessory and game currency-cards space, Microsoft’s fancy new $180 controller is a sales standout. And that makes sense considering it’s an excellent gamepad.

“The Xbox Elite Series 2 Wireless Controller was the best-selling video game accessory for the fourth consecutive month,” said Piscatella. “It is the best-selling accessory year-to-date.”

But, once again, the overall accessory space is seeing decline.

“Total February 2020 spending on accessories and game cards reached $265 million, falling 14 percent when compared to a year ago,” said Piscatella. “Year-to-date spending has declined 13 percent, to $500 million.”

And this retraction of sales for game cards, controllers, and headsets is still more about Fortnite than anything else. Accessory sales skyrocketed through 2018 and early 2019, and now they are continuing to trend back down. But maybe we’ll see a bounce back soon as more people try to stay inside to avoid the spread of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.


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