Bottom line: Consumers in the US continue to shell out money on video games at a record rate despite, or perhaps, due to the ongoing pandemic. And according to at least one expert, there's no sign of things changing anytime soon.

According to The NPD Group's Q2 2020 Games Market Dynamics report, consumer spending on video games in the US was up 30 percent year-over-year in the second quarter (April - June), reaching a record $11.6 billion, and up seven percent sequentially versus the $10.9 billion spent in the first three months of the year.

Breaking it down, we see that sales in the hardware category jumped 57 percent compared to the same period in 2019, to $848 million. Accessory and peripheral sales brought in another $584 million, a 50 percent jump year-over-year. The bulk of the haul came from sales of video game content, which accounted for $10.2 billion.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons, The Last of Us: Part II and Final Fantasy VII: Remake were among the best-performing new titles of the second quarter, the market research firm said. Established games such as Minecraft, Candy Crush Saga and Grand Theft Auto V also had solid showings, we're told.

Mat Piscatella, games industry analyst at The NPD Group, said many have turned to games not only to keep them preoccupied during the pandemic, but to help stay in touch with friends and family, resulting in an acceleration of established trends towards heightened player engagement. "I don't see any signs of this slowing down," Piscatella added.

Also of note per The NPD Group is that by the end of the second quarter, one out of every three US owners of a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One owned both systems.

Image credit: jcm32, Deman