Join GamesBeat Summit 2021 this April 28-29. Register for a free or VIP pass today.

Video game hardware sales were up 47% in March, according to industry-tracking firm The NPD Group. That growth comes despite a surge in sales that began last year due to the start of pandemic stay-at-home orders. And while the Switch continues to fuel those sales, so does the Xbox and, especially, the PlayStation 5.

“March video game hardware dollar sales were 47% higher than a year ago, at a March record $680 million,” NPD analyst Mat Piscatella said “The previous high of $552 million was set in March 2008. Year-to-date hardware spending totaled $1.4 billion, an increase of 81% compared to a year ago.”

Switch, which continues to sell out despite higher availability compared, led the month.

“Nintendo Switch was the best-selling hardware platform in both units and dollars during the month of March,” said Piscatella. “In the first quarter, Nintendo Switch was the unit sales leader while PlayStation 5 ranked first in hardware dollar sales.”

But the limited availability of the new generation of consoles isn’t unusual. Despite its short supply, PS5 is actually on a record pace for sales in the U.S.

“PlayStation 5 is the fastest-selling console in U.S. history in both unit and dollar sales [through] lifetime sales with five months on the market,” said Piscatella.

For now, Microsoft and Sony continue to sell nearly every console that they make. And these sales would certainly be higher if they could produce more systems.

Accessories also continue record sales in March

The NPD also tracked a new March sales high for video game accessories.

“March 2021 spending on video game accessories reached a March record $300 million,” said Piscatella. “[That’s] 26% higher when compared to a year ago. First quarter accessory dollar sales totaled $717 million, 42% higher than a year ago.”

And while console sales and software can reveal excitement among gamers, peripheral sales are even more illustrative. People are buying up new controllers and headsets because they know they’re invested into the new generation for the long run.

That is resulting in strong sales for the DualSense.

“The PS5 DualSense Wireless Controller White was the leading accessory in dollar sales for the month of March as well as the first quarter,” said Piscatella.

And this momentum should last through the rest of the year.


GamesBeat’s creed when covering the game industry is “where passion meets business.” What does this mean? We want to tell you how the news matters to you — not just as a decision-maker at a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn about the industry and enjoy engaging with it. How will you do that? Membership includes access to:

  • Newsletters, such as DeanBeat
  • The wonderful, educational, and fun speakers at our events
  • Networking opportunities
  • Special members-only interviews, chats, and “open office” events with GamesBeat staff
  • Chatting with community members, GamesBeat staff, and other guests in our Discord
  • And maybe even a fun prize or two
  • Introductions to like-minded parties

Become a member


By admin