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Gamers in the United States spent a lot of money on hardware last month, according to industry-tracking firm The NPD Group.

“Sales of video game hardware were 144% higher than January 2020, reaching $319 million,” NPD analyst Mat Piscatella said. “This is the highest total for a January month since the $323 million achieved in January 2011.”

So gamers spent more money on consoles in January 2021 than during any January through the PlayStation 4/Xbox One generation. That points to a number of factors. First, Sony and Microsoft are selling every system they make while Switch is in the prime of its lifecycle. Second, the average sales price for the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S is likely higher when compared against last generation.

As far as which company came out on top, Nintendo and Sony each claimed a win once again. But supply constraints are going to skew those numbers.


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“Nintendo Switch was the best-selling hardware platform in units sold for the month of January,” said Piscatella. “Unit sales of Nintendo Switch were the highest of any platform in a January month since the Nintendo Wii in January 2010.”

But PS5 generated more revenue due to its higher price.

“PlayStation 5 was the best-selling hardware platform in dollars sold in January, with the highest dollar sales total for a January month since the Nintendo Wii in January 2009,” said Piscatella.

NPD did not include any data about Xbox hardware sales, but those consoles are also difficult to find. That suggests Microsoft’s sales are equally supply constrained.

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