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Gaming consumers in the United States are dropping money on hardware and games even as February had a dearth of earth-shattering new releases. The industry is so hot right now, that it can’t help but generate year-over-year growth with $995 million in total sales, according to industry-tracking firm The NPD Group. That’s up 23 percent from $811 million during the same period in 2017.
Here are the numbers for February 2018:
Total: $995 million (up 23 percent from $811 million in February 2017)
Hardware: $316 million (up 55 percent from $204 million)
PC and console software: $397 million (flat from $397 million)
Accessories: $282 million (up 35 percent from $210 million)
“Year to date, 2018 spending across video game hardware, software and accessories is up 39 percent when compared to the same period a year ago, to $2.1 billion,” NPD analyst Mat Piscatella said. “Growth has occurred across all categories, with hardware being the primary sales performance driver.”
It’s important to keep in mind that NPD’s report has some gaps in it. It does not report digital sales data for every publisher. It also does not include DLC, microtransactions, or mobile. So this is a snapshot of a wider, more dynamic market.
Let’s get to the charts.
Software
Monster Hunter: World
Call of Duty: WWII
NBA 2K18
Dragon Ball: Fighterz
Grand Theft Auto V
Shadow of the Colossus (2018)
UFC 3
Kingdom Come: Deliverance
Mario Kart 8*
Super Mario Odyssey
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild*
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds**
Bayonetta 2*
Madden NFL 18
Assassin’s Creed: Origins
FIFA 18**
Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet
The Sims 4**
Star Wars: Battlefront II
*No digital sales included**No PC digital sales included
“Dollar sales of console, portable and PC games software combined to reach $397 million in February 2018, flat when compared to a year ago,” said Piscatella. “Gains in Nintendo Switch spending offset declines across all other platforms. Year to date, software spending has grown 24 percent to $916 million.”
As always, Nintendo’s games have long tails that keep them selling at full price for years. That trend is continuing on Switch for hits like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
“Mario Kart 8 returned to the top of the Nintendo Switch chart for the first time since May 2017,” said Piscatella. “Nintendo was February’s leading publisher in software dollar sales, while Capcom remains the top-selling publisher of 2018.”
While Nintendo Switch is filling in the gaps left by the other platforms, Capcom’s Monster Hunter is one of the main reasons we are seeing year-to-date growth. It is once again dominant in February. This is the second month in a row that it has topped this chart.
“After leading the market in January, Monster Hunter: World repeated as the month’s top-selling title overall, once again leading on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One platforms,” said Piscatella. “Unsurprisingly, Monster Hunter: World is currently 2018’s best-selling game.
Indie open-world role-playing game Kingdom Come: Deliverance also made it into the top 10, which is a huge feat and shows just how well that game is performing at retail.
“Call of Duty: WWII was February’s second best-selling title,” said Piscatella. “And it remains the best-selling title for the 12-month period ending February 2018.”
Xbox One
Monster Hunter: World
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds
Call of Duty: WWII
Kingdom Come: Deliverance
NBA 2K18
Dragon Ball: Fighterz
UFC 3
Grand Theft Auto V
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege
Assassin’s Creed: Origins
PlayStation 4
Monster Hunter: World
Shadow of the Colossus (2018)
Call of Duty: WWII
Dragon Ball: Fighterz
UFC 3
NBA 2K18
Grand Theft Auto V
Kingdom Come: Deliverance
Madden NFL 18
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege
Nintendo Switch (physical only)
Mario Kart 8
Super Mario Odyssey
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Bayonetta 2
Splatoon 2
Pokken Tournament DX
Mario & Rabbids: Kingdom Battle
Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Arms
Dragon Quest Builders
Nintendo 3DS
Pokemon: Ultra Sun
Pokemon: Ultra Moon
Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology
Mario Kart 7
Minecraft
Super Smash Bros.
Mario Party: The Top 100
Super Mario Maker
Kirby: Battle Royale
Super Mario 3D Land
The best-selling games of 2018 so far
Monster Hunter: World
Dragon Ball: Fighterz
Call of Duty: WWII
Grand Theft Auto V
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds**
NBA 2K18
Super Mario Odyssey*
Mario Kart 8*
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild*
UFC 3
The best-selling games over the last 12 months
Call of Duty: WWII
NBA 2K18
Destiny 2
Madden NFL 18
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild*
Grand Theft Auto V
Star Wars: Battlefront II
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands
Super Mario Odyssey
Mario Kart 8*
Hardware and accesories
Since the launch of the Nintendo Switch and Xbox One X, the PlayStation 4 has no longer dominated the hardware sales. Nintendo and Microsoft are both seeing growth as well.
“Hardware spending in February 2018 grew 55 percent when compared to a year ago, to $316 million,” said Piscatella. “Spending gains were driven by growth in Switch and Xbox One hardware sales. For the 2018 year-to-date period, hardware spending has increased 79 percent to $594 million.”
The Switch phenom story continued in February, for example.
“Nintendo Switch remains on a record-setting sales pace,” said Piscatella. “Over the first twelve months in market, Nintendo Switch has achieved the highest installed base for a console platform in history.”
But even if Sony isn’t leaving the competition in its dust, it still came out on top last month.
“Sony’s PlayStation 4 was the best-selling console in February,” said Piscatella. “And it remains the best-selling console year to date.”
Last month was a record-high for February for accessories and gamecards at $282 million. That broke the previous February record from 2016.
Gamepads are an especially large category with year-over-year growth of 46 percent.
“Gamepads were the month’s best-selling accessory group,” said Piscatella. “Headsets/headphones, power supplies, memory cards, and case/organizer categories all experienced double-digit percentage growth in the month. These gains offset a 75 percent decline in interactive gaming toy sales.”
PS4’s DualShock 4 Wireless Controller in Black was the best-selling accessory of the month and of 2018 so far.

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