Gamers in the United States are still buying Switches as well as software for their new systems, but the biggest release last month was Warner Bros. superhero fighting game.

Consumers in the U.S. spent $542 million on game-related hardware, software, and accessories in May, according to industry-tracking firm The NPD Group. That’s down 11 percent from $610 million during the same period in 2016. Injustice 2 and Prey were the big new releases, but the former had a much better showing. Hardware sales is where most of the growth is at however as May 2017 had a touch comparison to May 2016 when it comes to games.

May results

  • Total: $542 million (down 11 percent from $610 million in May 2017)
  • Hardware: $147 million (up 7 percent from $138 million)
  • Console software: $271 million (down 20 percent from $339 million)
  • PC software: $12 million (down 48 percent from $23 million)
  • Accessories: $112 million (up 1 percent from $111 million)

“Total video game spending in May 2017, which includes hardware, software and accessories, fell 11 percent versus year ago to $542 million,” NPD analyst Mat Piscatella said in a statement. “Spending growth in hardware and accessories was offset by a decline in software spending driven by a lighter new release slate when compared to May 2016.”




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  1. Injustice 2
  2. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe*
  3. Grand Theft Auto V
  4. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild*
  5. Prey*
  6. Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands
  7. Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadow of Valentia*
  8. NBA 2K17
  9. MLB 17: The Show
  10. Overwatch**
  11. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege
  12. Horizon Zero Dawn
  13. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
  14. Call of Duty: Black Ops III
  15. Mass Effect Andromeda
  16. Farpoint
  17. Battlefield 1
  18. Nier: Automata
  19. Minecraft
  20. FIFA 17

*No digital sales
*No digital sales from Blizzard’s PC app

Software sales were down year-over-year because May 2017 had nothing as big as top three games from May 2016.

“Video game software dollar sales in May 2017 fell 20 percent versus year ago to $271 million,” said Piscatella. “The new release slate of May 2016, led by Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, Overwatch and Doom proved a challenging comparable.”

Injustice 2 and Prey are big, acclaimed games, but they could not compete with Uncharted, Overwatch, or Doom. But that does not mean that the year is in a bad place overall. Instead, most of 2017’s biggest hits came in the first four months.

“Year to date, video game software dollar sales are flat versus 2016, at $1.9 billion,” said Piscatella.

As for May, Injustice 2 made Warner Bros. the No. 1 publisher of the month. Injustice 2 has already worked its way to No. 9 on the best-selling games of 2017. That outdoes hits like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe or Nier: Automata.

Prey is not doing nearly as well. Bethesda’s reboot from Arkane Studios made it to No. 5 without including any digital sales, but March’s Zelda: Breath of the Wild (which also doesn’t include any digital sales) still outsold it. That’s despite hardware shortages and a far smaller install base for the Nintendo Switch than the combined audience of Xbox One and PlayStation 4 for Prey. Grand Theft Auto came in at No. 3 on the NPD’s chart, which also outdid Prey. That 2013 open-world crime adventure continues to sell incredibly well every month, but it’s still odd for it to outperform a new blockbuster release like Prey.

Elsewhere on the list, Nintendo’s Fire Emblem series keeps selling well.

“The launch of Nintendo’s Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadow of Valentia pushed May portable software spending up 10 percent versus year ago,” said Piscatella.

Here are the rest of the NPD charts:

Xbox One

  1. Injustice 2
  2. Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands
  3. Prey*
  4. Grand Theft Auto V
  5. Overwatch**
  6. Forza Horizon 3
  7. NBA 2K 17
  8. Mass Effect: Andromeda
  9. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
  10. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege

PlayStation 4

  1. Injustice 2
  2. MLB 17: The Show
  3. Prey
  4. Grand Theft Auto V
  5. Horizon Zero Dawn
  6. Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands
  7. Farpoint
  8. NBA 2K17
  9. Overwatch
  10. Nier: Automata

Nintendo Switch

  1. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe*
  2. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild*
  3. Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers*
  4. Disgaea 5 Complete*
  5. 1-2 Switch*
  6. Lego City: Undercover
  7. Puyo Puyo Tetris
  8. Super Bomberman R*
  9. Just Dance 2017*
  10. The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+

3DS and Vita

  1. Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadow of Valentia
  2. Pokemon Sun
  3. Pokemon Moon
  4. Super Mario Maker
  5. Mario Kart 7
  6. Mario Sports Superstars
  7. Super Smash Bros.
  8. Poochy and Yoshi’s Wooly World
  9. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D
  10. Super Mario 3D Land

The best-selling games of 2017 so far

  1. Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands
  2. For Honor
  3. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild*
  4. Horizon Zero Dawn
  5. Grand Theft Auto V
  6. Mass Effect: Andromeda
  7. Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
  8. NBA 2K17
  9. Injustice 2
  10. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare

The best-selling games over the last 12 months

  1. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
  2. Battlefield 1
  3. NBA 2K17
  4. Madden NFL 17
  5. Grand Theft Auto V
  6. Overwatch*
  7. FIFA 17
  8. Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands
  9. Final Fantasy XV
  10. For Honor


When it comes to hardware sales, the story is still Nintendo — even though PlayStation 4 was the No. 1 selling console of the month.

“Hardware spending grew 7 percent compared to May 2016, to $147 million,” said Piscatella. “Nintendo Switch continues to be the primary catalyst for hardware spending gains, as it has since launching in March 2017.”

The Switch has filled in a gap in the market, and it is serving as both a viable third console and a replacement for the 3DS and Vita’s portable market.

“Year to date, hardware spending has grown 18 percent as gains in console spending have offset declines in portable,” said Piscatella.

Finally, the Xbox One and PS4 are both still collectively outperforming their predecessors.

“On a time-aligned basis over each product’s first 43 months in market, the combined installed base of Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One now exceeds the combined installed base of the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 by 29 percent,” said Piscatella.

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