NPD Group Oct 2021 Report: Nintendo Switch Comes Back To Console Sales Lead Thanks to OLED Model

Last month, we saw that Nintendo's 33-month lead has been lost against the PlayStation 5. However, this doesn't mean that their momentum is over. According to the NPD Group October 2021 report, the Nintendo Switch was one of the best-selling hardware platforms of October in both units and dollars. This success is majorly owed to the sales of the OLED model.

The report states that in October 2021 consumer spending across video game hardware, content and accessories grew 16% when compared to a year ago, reaching an October record of $4.4 billion. Year-to-date consumer spending reached $46.7 billion, gaining 12% when compared to the same period in 2020.

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As for hardware sales, video game hardware dollar sales increased 82% when compared to October 2020, to $472 million. Year-to-date hardware spending has increased 53% when compared to the same period a year ago, reaching $3.9 billion.

The Nintendo Switch was the best-selling hardware platform of October in both units and dollars. The success of the console over PlayStation this month was aided by the launch of the Nintendo Switch - OLED Model. However, this isn't all bad news for PlayStation as the PS5 remains the best-selling hardware platform of 2021 year-to-date in dollars, while Nintendo Switch leads in units.

NPD Group Nintendo Switch PlayStation

Moving onto game sales, Far Cry 6 debuted as October's best-selling game, instantly becoming the 8th best-selling game of 2021 to date. Far Cry 6 ranked first on both PlayStation and Xbox platforms in October. Back 4 Blood was October's second best-selling game, also ranking 2nd on both PlayStation and Xbox platforms.

Metroid: Dread debuted as October's #3 best-selling game while ranking first on Nintendo Switch. Dread achieved the highest launch month sales of any Metroid franchise release in tracked history. Launch month physical dollar sales nearly doubled those of the previous best, Metroid: Prime.

NPD Group Nintendo Switch PlayStation
NPD Group Nintendo Switch PlayStation

On the Mobile gaming front, we have some more positive data (for Mobile publishers). October was the eighth consecutive month of U.S. consumer spending on mobile games in excess of $2 billion, while spending has surpassed that mark in nine out of 10 months so far in 2021.

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Year-over-year revenue growth for the space was nearly 12% in October, up from 11% the month before, signaling increased purchasing momentum into the holiday season compared to pre-pandemic norms, which saw single-digit year-over-year increases at this point in 2019.

Top U.S. mobile games by revenue in October 2021 include:

  • Candy Crush Saga
  • Garena Free Fire
  • Roblox
  • Coin Master
  • Pokémon GO
  • Call of Duty: Mobile
  • Homescapes
  • Clash Royale
  • Genshin Impact

Finally, video game accessories sales have increased by 5% during October 2021 when compared to a year ago. Total sales of accessories have increased to $158 million. Year-to-date accessory sales reached $1.9 billion, increasing 9% when compared to a year ago.

NPD Group Nintendo Switch PlayStation

Gamepads remain the best-selling accessory segment year to date, with a growth of 7% when compared to the same period a year ago. The Xbox Elite Series 2 Wireless Controller was the best-selling accessory of October, while the PS5 DualSense Wireless Controller White remains the best-selling accessory of the year.

In other news, the Steam Deck shipping has been delayed until Early 2022. What are your thoughts on the NPD Group results? Let us know in the comments.

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