‘The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom’ Blamed for 40% Drop in US Sales

Video game hardware spending in the U.S. experienced a 40% decline in May compared to the previous year, as reported by Circana. This decrease was seen across all major consoles including the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X/S. According to Mat Piscatella, Circana’s boss and industry analyst, the Switch saw the most significant drop.

Console Sales Performance

In May, the PlayStation 5 emerged as the top-selling console in both units and dollar sales. Its unit sales surpassed those of the PlayStation 4 by eight percent.

Overall Market Decline

The decline in sales wasn’t limited to hardware alone. Spending on game content, which includes games, in-game currency, and items, fell by three percent compared to the previous year. Spending on gaming accessories also dropped by eight percent. Notably, PlayStation Portal was the best-selling accessory in May.

Top Games and Trends

Ghost of Tsushima was the best-selling game in the U.S. for May, especially after its PC port release, which marked PlayStation’s largest single-player PC launch in terms of concurrent players. Fortnite continued its dominance, maintaining the highest number of active users across PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S in May. A study highlighted the lasting popularity and sustainability of free-to-play games versus new full releases.

Spending Projections and Future Releases

Mat Piscatella stated, “Projected US total spending on video game hardware, content, and accessories fell six percent in May 2024 when compared to a year ago.” This annual decline is partly attributed to the previous year’s release of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom on Nintendo Switch in May 2023.

According to Piscatella’s tweet, the projected U.S. total spending on video game hardware, content, and accessories reached $4.0 billion in May 2024, showing a six percent decrease compared to the previous year, although year-to-date spending was two percent higher, totaling $22.8 billion.

May 2024 U.S. Video Game Market Highlights from Circana – Projected U.S. total spending on video game hardware, content and accessories fell 6% in May 2024 when compared to a year ago, to $4.0 billion. Year-to-date 2024 spending was 2% higher than a year ago, at $22.8 billion. pic.twitter.com/QtKko05BoI

— Mat Piscatella (@MatPiscatella) July 8, 2024

Upcoming Hardware and Game Releases

Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft are expected to launch new hardware soon. Microsoft announced three new Xbox variants with increased storage capacity, scheduled for release at the end of the year in select markets. Sony is reportedly planning to release a PlayStation 5 ‘Pro’ console that will support 60fps with ray tracing. Nintendo is set to announce the successor to the Switch, tentatively named Switch 2, later this financial year, with an expected release sometime in 2025.

This year also promises significant game releases across all major platforms. Legend of Zelda: Echoes of Wisdom is set to launch on the Switch in September, Astro Bot will come to PS5 in the same month, and Indiana Jones and the Great Circle is slated for a 2024 release on Xbox and PC.

Wrapping Up

The video game industry is facing notable declines in hardware and content spending, reflecting shifting consumer trends and market fluctuations. With major hardware launches and significant game releases on the horizon, the industry is poised for a dynamic period ahead. Stay updated with the latest in video gaming by visiting HitPlay.

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