NPD Group reports drops in software and hardware for June 2016

NPD Group dug into last month's video game sales data, only to find that both hardware and software fell short.


NPD Group dug into last month's video game sales data, only to find that both hardware and software fell short.

Overall, June 2016 dropped a bit from the year prior, when blockbusters like Batman: Arkham Knight swooped in to bolster sales. The end result was a 26 percent year-over-year decline in "overall spending across software, hardware and accessories. Hardware’s drop in sales represented 58 percent of the overall decline in dollar volume compared to last June," according to an NPD representative.

"June 2016 launches decreased 67 percent, translating to 1.8MM fewer units, and nearly $114MM fewer dollars." To put that in perspective, last June's Batman game sold five times as many copies as Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens, this June's biggest release.

It didn't help that Overwatch and Uncharted 4, two of the biggest games of 2016, both came out in May. "May 2016 launches sold 84 percent more in June compared to May 2015 launches last June, when looking at dollar sales."

Meanwhile, hardware is down... and up. Factors such as lower price points for Xbox One and PS4, as well as fewer units sold, precipitated a 42 percent drop in hardware sales compared to June 2015. That works out to a $117 million decline in sales.

Despite flagging in the short term, Xbox One and PS4 have a leg up on their predecessors. "After 32 months since the launches of the PS4 and Xbox One, the combined cumulative hardware sales for these two consoles exceed the sales of their predecessors by 40 percent at the same point in their lifecycles."

This could be a sign that consumers who haven't bought in to current-gen hardware are interested in what Microsoft and Sony have to offer, but prefer to pull the trigger on a purchase after both companies release Xbox "Project Scorpio" and PlayStation 4 Neo, respectively.

Long Reads Editor

David L. Craddock writes fiction, nonfiction, and grocery lists. He is the author of the Stay Awhile and Listen series, and the Gairden Chronicles series of fantasy novels for young adults. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing Mario, Zelda, and Dark Souls games, and will be happy to discuss at length the myriad reasons why Dark Souls 2 is the best in the series. Follow him online at and @davidlcraddock.

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