Industry tracking firm NPD Group has revealed the PlayStation 5 is officially the fastest-selling console in U.S. history in both unit and dollar sales. This goes for lifetime sales with five months on the market. The PlayStation 5 DualSense controller was also the leading accessory in dollar sales for not just March, but also the whole first quarter of 2021. This isn’t surprising news, as Sony’s previous quarterly sales report showed the PlayStation 5 sold 4.5 million units in 2020. (And that the lack of supply to meet demand has made so many people, like little ol’ me, still unable to get their hands on one.)
The record was previously held by the Nintendo Switch. In 2018, it became the fastest-selling console in U.S. history within 10 months, selling over 4.8 million units in the country. The Nintendo Switch continues to be the best-selling console in both units and dollar sales, driving its streak to last 28 consecutive months. With just a single month on the market, Monster Hunter: Rise, which is currently only available on the Nintendo Switch, is already the second-best-selling installment in the franchise. Naturally, it ranked as the best-selling game on the Switch in March. It’s only behind Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War as the month’s overall best-seller.
In related news: earlier this week, Nintendo announced a blue Nintendo Switch Lite. Or a purple one. Or a periwinkle one. Depends on your eyes.
Mat Piscatella, the executive director of the NPD Group, provides more interesting statistics in the Twitter thread. He wrote that, in March 2021, “consumer spending across video game hardware, content, and accessories reached a March record $5.6 billion, 18% higher when compared to a year ago. First quarter consumer spending totaled $14.9 billion, 30% higher than 2020’s first quarter.” Additionally, he indicates that hardware dollar sales were 47% higher than a year ago, amounting to a record $680 million. The previous high record was $552 million, which was set in March 2008. In total, year-to-date hardware spending has reached a total of $1.4 billion, which Piscatella states is an increase of 81% compared to a year ago.
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It’s also worth noting that Spider-Man: Miles Morales has already outsold both The Last of Us Part II and Ghost of Tsushima, which some fans have often pitted against each other for the crown of the best 2020 Sony exclusive. Despite launching in November — while The Last of Us Part II was released in June and Ghost of Tsushima in July — has exceeded the lifetime sales of both in the U.S., remaining in the top 5 sellers every month since its release.
Despite the massive and indisputable success of the PlayStation 5, Sony Interactive Entertainment has recently lost a bit of goodwill. At the end of March, Sony confirmed a report from The Gamer on the impending closure of the PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, and PlayStation Vita digital stores. The PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable stores will close in July, while the PlayStation Vita’s will shut down in August. The news was certainly a reminder of the massive potential negatives to an all-digital future. Soon after that, a Bloomberg report shed light on what seems to be Sony’s increasingly risk-averse first-party philosophy.