Jul 16, 2021 - Technology

U.S. game sales rise in the first half of 2021

Nintendo Switch

Photo: Nintendo

Consumer spending on video game hardware, software and accessories rose to $28.9 billion for the first half of 2021, up 15% from the same time last year, according to the NPD group.

Why it matters: The easing of pandemic-related lockdowns in the U.S. hasn't stopped the boom in gaming, which began with the onset of COVID-19 last year.

  • If anything, the pandemic is now holding back hardware spending, as console manufacturing, impacted by supply chain disruptions, is keeping supply well short of demand.

By the numbers:

  • The Nintendo Switch led in unit and dollar sales for the first half, according to NPD, which doesn’t release specific tallies.
  • For June, the Switch sold the most units, but the more expensive and newer Xbox Series X and S consoles combined led in dollar sales.
  • NPD's June software chart, tracked by revenue, was topped by "Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart." Notably, a free "Pirates of the Caribbean"-themed update to Xbox's "Sea of Thieves" bumped the 2018 game from No. 36 in May to No. 20 in June.
Go deeper