Nintendo was in need of a win leading up to the launch of its hybrid Switch console, and despite the skepticism that gamers would embrace a comparatively under powered game console to Sony's PlayStation 4 and Microsoft's Xbox One, they have done just that. According to NPD Group, Nintendo was the big winner in July, outselling both the Xbox One and PS4 in the US.
Unfortunately NPD Group did not provide exact figures for individual console sales, though seeing the Switch land on top is vindication for Nintendo's decision to go with its gut, something that did not work out so well when designing the Wii U. And though the Switch launched to a limited catalog of games—The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was really the only interesting (and major) launch release—new software titles are helping to drive hardware sales.
Splatoon 2 did particularly well. Not only was it the best selling game for the Switch, it was also the top selling title overall, regardless of platform. That is followed by Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy (PS4), Grand Theft Auto V, Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age, Breath of the Wild, Injustice 2, Mario Kart 8, Overwatch, Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Siege, and NBA 2K17 rounding out the top 10 games. Impressively, three Switch games landed in the top 10 chart.
Though Nintendo earned bragging rights for the month of June, it was a great month for gaming all around. Consumers spent a combined $277 million on software. And on hardware, the Switch and PS4 were the primary drivers of boosting sales by 29 percent (year-over-year) to $182 million.
"Total video game spending in July 2017, which includes hardware, software and accessories, grew 19 percent versus year ago to $588 million. Growth was seen across all categories of spending," NPD analyst Mat Piscatella said. "The launch of Splatoon 2 on the Nintendo Switch, and month 2 sales of Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy drove software gains, while new supply of Nintendo Switch and continued strength of PlayStation 4 pushed hardware higher."
Here is a look at the pertinent figures for July:
- Total: $588 million (up 19 percent from $496 million in July 2016)
- Hardware: $182 million (up 29 percent from $142 million)
- Console software: $263 million (up 17 percent from $224 million)
- PC software: $14 million (up 14 percent from $12 million)
- Accessories: $129 million (up 9 percent from $118 million)
While the Switch and PS4 drove hardware spending, NPD Group credited the Switch and Xbox One for boosting sales of Accessories, with gamepads ranking as the top-selling type of accessory for both platforms.
Overall the Switch knock it out of the park in July. That is great news for Nintendo and bodes well for the future of the console, which is still in its infancy. Unfortunately for consumers, the Switch is still hard to find. Nintendo has not been able to supply enough Switch consoles to meet demand. Hopefully that will change in the next few months as the holiday shopping season rolls into view.