Recent data released on the U.S. video gaming market shows Nintendo (NTDOY 0.86%) is in a strong position at the top. In this Motley Fool Live segment from "The Gaming Show," recorded on April 25, Fool.com contributor Ryan Henderson takes a look at what's behind the company's success.
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Ryan Henderson: Yeah, so I guess for anyone that doesn't know, NPD Group, they're basically just a research firm that gathers data around a bunch of different industries and one of those industries is video games, and so they always have really good data especially around primarily around the US gaming market. They break it into three things typically. So it's hardware content and accessories, and so content includes full game sales as well as like mobile games spending. Keep in mind it's all in the US, but this included not just March but also the first quarter of the year. So the state of for all the key one.
So the thing that was interesting is hardware sales declined almost by a quarter. So 24 percent year over year which is almost entirely attributable to the supply chain issues, demand seems to be really high but they're just having a hard time getting the consoles out to the consumers. So the Xbox was technically the best selling console by dollar figures. It's a higher price point than the Switch. However, the Switch sold the most units, the Switch has actually, I believe it's the best selling console for each, for I think it's, I want to say 36 for the last 37 months, it's been the best selling console. There was one month where the PS 5 was a better seller, but the Switch, and that was right before they launched the new Switch. So really, it's been kind of the dominant platform but it's at a cheaper price point than some of the next gen consoles. That's sort of the discrepancy there. Hardware sales tend to be, because there's a lot of new game sales that come with a new console, you start to see kind of ripple effects typically where if hardware sales are down a lot, you're going to have less content being sold. Content spending was down 13 percent year every year. So I guess just a big theme across the whole gaming market is that spending is decreasing. A lot of that is attributable to console is just not being accessible. But it's also, we are lapping a time period when everybody, you were still having COVID effects. So a lot of people had more free time than maybe they do today, but as for sort of the nitty gritty with the content spending, Elden Ring was the best selling game for March and the first quarter. The publisher there was, Jose, you might know, and I think it was like, Bandai Namco or something like that, I don't believe it's publicly traded. I imagine Tencent probably has a stake in it. Like every other company. But the publisher with the most top 10 games from our choice, Nintendo. Obviously, it's a little easier for them since they have a massive installed base to sell to, and then total mobile game spending was actually down 12 percent year every year. I found that pretty fascinating.
I would have thought that would be a little more resilient, but all of it came from the Google Play Store, pretty much all the losses. So spending on the Apple App Store was pretty much flat year over year, But the Google Play Store is down, I want to say 24 percent. The top three mobile games were Candy Crush, Roblox, and Garena Free Fire. They have been pretty much the stalwarts at the top of the mobile gaming sector for a while now. Then as far as accessories spend, we're going to talk about this here in a second. Spending was down 23 percent year over year. Accessories, that includes things like controllers cases, memory chips, things that you would put, if you were building your own custom PC things, you would put in their headsets as well. So that was down 23 percent year over year. There isn't that much to talk about there, but a lot of the accessory companies, you're going to see very similar performance and we're about to talk about one. So that was just kind of the state of the gaming market in March. It's always fun to look at these reports just to see what the industry is looking like. Keep in mind, all of these numbers, even though the year over year spend is down, they're up substantially from pre-COVID. So they're still seeing growth if you kind of normalize it. But obviously, there was a huge, I guess, boom during COVID in all these markets.