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Nintendo Switch was the best-selling console in July, but overall hardware sales were down big-time. Industry-tracking firm The NPD Group released its July report today, and it confirms that U.S. consumers are looking ahead.

“Hardware spending in July 2019 fell 22 percent when compared to a year ago, to $169 million,” NPD analyst Mat Piscatella said. “Year-to-date hardware spending has declined 21 percent versus year ago, to $1.5 billion. Spending declined across all in-market console platforms in July, while only Nintendo Switch has experienced sales gains year to date.”

The problem is pretty obvious. The kinds of people who spend hundreds of dollars on an Xbox One or PlayStation 4 in the United States have probably already done so at some point since November 2013. Those are also exactly the kinds of people who are looking ahead to new hardware.

Nintendo just launched a slightly upgraded Switch in August. It also has a Switch Lite coming in September. Microsoft has promised the next Xbox is coming holiday 2020, and you can expect PlayStation 5 to come around that time as well.


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But for now, Nintendo is on top.

“Nintendo Switch was once again the best-selling hardware platform of July and remains 2019’s hardware sales leader,” said Piscatella.

Accessories and game cards

Gaming companies use atoms to make more than just gaming consoles, though. And when it comes to gamepads, headsets, and game currency cards, 2019 continues to see a decline from the highs of 2018.

“Total July 2019 spending on accessories and game cards declined 12% when compared to a year ago, to $254 million,” said Piscatella. “Year-to-date sales of accessories and game cards have fallen 1 percent when compared to a year ago, to $2.0 billion. Growth in gamepad spending has not been able to offset declines across other segments.”

We may see accessory sales spike later this year. People may pick up new add-ons for the Switch Lite, and Sony is launching new colors for the DualShock 4.

For now, gamepad sales are going strong because games like Super Mario Maker 2 are driving people to upgrade.

“The Nintendo Switch Pro Controller was July 2019’s best-selling accessory,” said Piscatella. “The PlayStation 4 DualShock 4 Black remains the year’s leading seller.

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