Nintendo Switch, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War and PS5 DualSense, lead another record-breaking month at US retail

The US had a record-breaking March and a huge Q1 according to figures just in from the NPD. With the Switch, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War and the PS5 DualSense leading their categories in terms of dollar sales for the month.

Total consumer spend for for hardware, content and accessories reached a massive $5.6bn, up 18 per cent on last year, turbocharged by new consoles, the continued success of the Switch, and of course the pandemic changing behaviour patterns.

To that end the first quarter totalled $14.9bn, up 30 per cent on last year.

The month’s hardware sales were up 47 per cent on last year, with a record $680m, smashing the previous record of $552m in March 2008. Year to date hardware spending is up a ludicrous 81 per cent on last year, largely thanks to new consoles, at $1.4bn. It’s hard to imagine the heights that might be achieved when the much-rumoured new Switch arrives.

Speaking of the Switch, it was the best-selling platform in terms of both units and dollar sales for the month. While across the first quarter the stock-restrained PS5 totted up the most dollar sales overall. Despite that, the PS5 is “the fastest selling console in U.S. history in both unit and dollar sales” based on its first five months on the market.

In terms of games sales, not including post-launch spending, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War was the biggest seller for March, at least on paper – as digital sales are unreported for the previous number one, now at number four, Super Mario 3D World. Following up on Cold War we Monster Hunter: Rise and Outriders at 2 and 3.

Interestingly in just one month on only Switch, Monster Hunter: Rise is already the second biggest selling franchise title of all time, which gives some idea of how much Monster Hunter: World (which is first) grew the franchise. A PC version of Rise is also due out early next year.

Also Outriders, while no specific figures are available, charted 3rd on both PlayStation and Xbox platforms, despite being available for Xbox as part of Xbox Game Pass.

Finally the PS5 Dual Sense rules the roost in accessories. Being the leading dollar sales item for both the month and the quarter. The month was up 26 per cent on last year, while the quarter was up 42 per cent to $717m.

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