Video game hardware sales were up 47% in March, according to industry-tracking firm The NPD Group. That growth comes despite a surge in sales that began last year due to the start of pandemic stay-at-home orders. And while the Switch continues to fuel those sales, so does the Xbox and, especially, the PlayStation 5.

“March video game hardware dollar sales were 47% higher than a year ago, at a March record $680 million,” NPD analyst Mat Piscatella said “The previous high of $552 million was set in March 2008. Year-to-date hardware spending totaled $1.4 billion, an increase of 81% compared to a year ago.”

The Switch, which continues to sell out despite higher availability compared, led the month.

“Nintendo Switch was the best-selling hardware platform in both units and dollars during the month of March,” said Piscatella. “In the first quarter, Nintendo Switch was the unit sales leader while PlayStation 5 ranked first in hardware dollar sales.”


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But the limited availability of the new generation of consoles isn’t unusual. Despite its short supply, PS5 is actually on a record pace for sales in the U.S.

“PlayStation 5 is the fastest-selling console in U.S. history in both unit and dollar sales [through] lifetime sales with five months on the market,” said Piscatella.

For now, Microsoft and Sony continue to sell nearly every console that they make. And these sales would certainly be higher if they could produce more systems.

Accessories also continue record sales in March

The NPD also tracked a new March sales high for video game accessories.

“March 2021 spending on video game accessories reached a March record $300 million,” said Piscatella. “[That’s] 26% higher when compared to a year ago. First quarter accessory dollar sales totaled $717 million, 42% higher than a year ago.”

And while console sales and software can reveal excitement among gamers, peripheral sales are even more illustrative. People are buying new controllers and headsets because they know they’re invested into the new generation for the long run.

That is resulting in strong sales for the DualSense gamepad.

“The PS5 DualSense Wireless Controller White was the leading accessory in dollar sales for the month of March as well as the first quarter,” said Piscatella.

And this momentum should last through the rest of the year.

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