How long can Nintendo stay on top of game and console sales?

It’s looking more and more like May’s dip in video game sales was the exception rather than the rule, when the latest industry sales trends are taken into account. Taking into account total sales for hardware, console and PC software, and video game accessories, the video game industry saw a dramatic increase of 19% year-over-year. This is welcome news in light of all the many months in 2016 that saw steady decline.

According to a report recently published by The NPD Group, here’s how the figures break down according to category. Video game hardware grew 29% year-over-year from $142M to $182M. Video game software for consoles and portables grew 17% year-over-year from $224M to $263M. PC games also saw growth of 14% year-over-year, increasing sales from $12M to $14M. Finally, video games accessories grew 9% year-over-year from $118M to $129M.


Here are the top 10 selling games for July:

  1. Splatoon 2
  2. Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy
  3. Grand Theft Auto V
  4. Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age
  5. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  6. Injustice 2
  7. Mario Kart 8
  8. Overwatch
  9. Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Siege
  10. NBA 2K17

As you can see, Nintendo's Splatoon 2 was the best-selling title of the month. In fact, three of the top ten best-selling games are published by Nintendo, which continues to prove that Nintendo’s strategy of a limited game library doesn’t appear to be hurting them. Mat Piscatella at The NPD Group reports that “Nintendo was also the best-selling software publisher in July.”

Piscatella also points out some other trends to consider. “Role Playing Games are experiencing a market resurgence,” he reports. “Driven by titles such as (in alphabetical order) Horizon: Zero Dawn, Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue, Mass Effect: Andromeda, Nier: Automata, Nioh and Persona 5, year-to-date dollar sales of RPGs has grown more than 50 percent when compared to the same period a year ago.”

Also, while we don’t see any Call of Duty games in the top 10, which is uncharacteristic, but that doesn’t mean the franchise isn’t impacting the industry. Piscatella reports, “Three games from the Call of Duty franchise reached the top 20 in July, with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered joining June carryovers Call of Duty: Black Ops III, and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare.  Over the 12-month period ending July 2017, Call of Duty is the market's best-selling video game franchise and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare the best-selling game.”


Nintendo has resurged to first place in console sales after releasing a new supply of Switches, and Nintendo’s console continues to be a serious contender as we approach the shopping season. However, the PlayStation 4 also contributed to July’s growth in hardware sales, and it will be interesting to see which console comes out on top by the end of 2017.

Let’s also not forget that the Xbox One X is slated to arrive this November. While Microsoft is currently not sharing console sales figures, that’s likely to change once “the world’s most powerful console” hits the market. The end of the year is shaping up to be a very exciting time.