Consumers in the United States were still hungry for video game hardware in May, according to industry-tracking firm the NPD Group. And the Nintendo Switch still tops that wish list.

“Hardware spending grew 56% in May 2020 when compared to a year ago, to $235 million,” NPD analyst Mat Piscatella said. “This is the highest total for a May month since the $239 million total achieved in May 2010.”

With movie theaters, concert halls, and bars still closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more people are turning to video games for entertainment. For many people, this means finally buying a console. This trend has turned 2020 into a significantly better year for hardware sales than 2019.

“Year-to-date spending reached $1.4 billion,” said Piscatella. “[That’s an increase of] 34% compared to a year ago.”

But while Xbox One and PlayStation 4 are seeing a boost, the Switch remains the hot gaming item to have.

“Nintendo Switch was the best-selling hardware platform in May in both unit and dollar sales,” said Piscatella. “Nintendo Switch unit sales were the highest for an individual platform in a May month since the Nintendo 3DS in May 2009.”

Accessories and game cards

As consumers pick up new consoles, they are also buying add-ons like gamepads, headsets, and more. After all, many people are getting into video games to play with their family, either in person or online.

“May 2020 spending on accessories and game cards reached $304 million, increasing 32% when compared to a year ago,” said Piscatella. “Year-to-date spending has increased 12%, to $1.6 billion.”

This demand actually broke the May record in a number of categories.

“Gamepads, headsets/headphones, and steering wheels all set new May sales records,” said Piscatella. “The Xbox Elite Series 2 Wireless Controller is the best-selling accessory both of May and year-to-date.”


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