Analysts from the NPD Group have confirmed that the PlayStation 5 is the fastest-selling console in US history. Given how hard they are to come by right now, perhaps we shouldn't be surprised, but Sony will nonetheless be pleased with the console's performance.
What does analysis tell us about PlayStation 5 sales?
This news comes courtesy of NPD analyst Mat Piscatella's monthly gaming industry analysis thread. In the thread, Piscatella says the PS5 is the fastest-selling console in US history in both unit and dollar sales terms, when compared to other consoles at the five-month stage in their life cycle. Video game hardware sales overall were up 47% on last March, breaking the March record set by the same month in 2008. Year-to-date spending smashed last year's total, too, with an increase of 81% at $1.4 billion.
As Piscatella points out, March 2020 was a strange time for the gaming industry, with the pandemic driving increased sales and competition in the industry. However, we can now directly compare 2021's data to the same period in 2020. Even with this comparison in place, Piscatella says that hardware, accessory, and software sales "pushed the market to growth". As you might expect, March 2021's best-selling accessory is the PS5's DualSense controller, with accessory spending up 26% over last year.
Which games were best-sellers in March 2021?
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War may lead the software chart for March, but that doesn't mean other games are lagging behind. Monster Hunter Rise launched in March to take second place, beating Outriders, which debuted in third place despite launching across multiple platforms. Monster Hunter Rise was, of course, the best-selling game on Switch for March. Despite only having one month on the market, Rise only trails behind Monster Hunter World for lifetime dollar sales, so it's done pretty darn well for itself.
In March, gamers also showed some love to some long-standing franchises. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe placed sixth on the March 2021 chart, which is impressive for a game that's almost four years old (and almost seven years old if we count the 2014 Wii U release). According to Mat Piscatella, Mario Kart 8 is now the best-selling racing game in US history. Racing games are a fiercely competitive market, so Nintendo should feel proud that it's taken the top spot. Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time also skyrocketed to number 15 on March's chart, boosted by a Switch release after sitting in a lowly 65th place in February.
If you want to learn more about where the gaming industry was at in March, we strongly recommend reading Mat Piscatella and the NPD Group's full thread. It's chock-full of nerdy numbers, stats, and charts about software, hardware, and other gaming sales, so give it a look if you want to geek out. Now if you'll excuse us, we're off to play yet another round of Mario Kart 8.
Have you managed to grab a PlayStation 5? Did you contribute to these software sales? Let us know in the comments below!