Overall consumer spending on video-game hardware and software jumped 52 percent to $586 million last month, compared with a year earlier, with the PS4 retaining its sales lead as the No. 1 platform, NPD Group Inc. said in an e-mailed statement today.
Microsoft last week began selling a lower-priced version of its Xbox One to match the $399 price of Sony’s PS4. The company had struggled to convince gamers that the $499 price tag of the console is justified. Both companies showcased new titles for the machines at the industry’s annual E3 conference earlier this month, as they gear up for the year-end holiday season.
Sony has led Microsoft in U.S. console sales every month since the new devices were released in November. At the E3 conference in Los Angeles, Microsoft used its entire presentation to focus on hard-core players, who were alienated by an Xbox One debut last year focused on non-game entertainment.
U.S. hardware sales in May almost doubled to $187 million, while revenue from software excluding titles for PCs gained 57 percent to $274 million. The increase in game sales was the first after six months of declines and helped overall sales jump the most since June 2008, according to NPD.
Seven of the 10 top-selling titles in May play on the new consoles, including the No. 1 game Watch Dogs from Ubisoft SA, the researcher said.
The last three months of the year will see a raft of big-budget titles, including Activision Blizzard Inc. (ATVI)’s Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and Destiny, Electronic Arts Inc.’s Battlefield Hardline and Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed Unity and Far Cry 4.
(An earlier version of this story was corrected to fix the percentage change for sales as stated in NPD’s original report.)
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