Video game sales shot up substantially in the month of September thanks to the overwhelming popularity of Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto V. Total sales which include game discs, hardware and accessories hit $1.08 billion in the US last month. During the same time last year, Americans spent just $848 million on gaming – 27 percent less than this year according to research firm NPD.
Total game software spending was up 52 percent year over year to $754.3 which is where GTA V helped. NPD analyst Liam Callahan said the launch of GTA V was a much needed shot in the arm for the industry. Madden NFL 25, NBA 2K14, Diablo III and FIFA 14 rounded out the top five games for the month, in that order.
Hardware spending, on the other hand, dropped 13 percent to $183.2 million. The PlayStation 3 was able to snap the Xbox 360’s 32-month bestselling streak thanks to GTA V which was paired with the PS3 as a packaged bundle. The Nintendo 3DS was the top-selling device for the fifth month in a row and Wii U sales were up 20 percent following a price cut which put the Deluxe version at $299.
With new consoles from Sony and Microsoft hitting store shelves next month, I suspect both of these figures will increase over the holiday season. This is also likely the reason why hardware sales in general have been down recently – why buy a dated console when the next-gens are just around the corner?