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When it comes to the monthly game-sales report from industry-tracking firm The NPD Group, an underrated indicator is accessory sales. Products like controllers and headsets have seen huge sales spikes, and that tells a story. Even when U.S. gamers aren’t showing up to buy new hardware and software, they’re still interested in spending money on their hobby because they’re engaged. That trend only heated up even further as hardware and software sales jumped in January, according to NPD.

“Spending on video game accessories reached a January record $222 million,” NPD analyst Mat Piscatella said. “That’s 73% higher when compared to a year ago.”

The gamepad, headset/headphone, and steering wheel categories all set new January dollar-sales records. And a lot of that comes down to an enthusiasm for gaming that is spilling over into spending on peripherals.

“The PS5 DualSense Wireless Controller White was the best-selling accessory of January,” said Piscatella “While the PlayStation Pulse 3D Wireless Headset White was the best-selling Headset/Headphone.”

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Expect that trend to continue — especially as hardware supply remains constrained through the end of 2021.

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