At the beginning of the year, the research firm NPD Group found that total 2010 software sales were flat. However, the group released a new Q1 2011 report today, estimating the complete consumer spend on games for the first three months of 2011 was not stagnant, but growing.
According to the report--Games Industry: Total Consumer Spend--the NPD believes total Q1 2011 consumer spend reached $5.9 billion in the United States, up 1.5 percent over last year's figure.
In addition to the $2.03 billion consumers spent on physical software in Q1 2011, the NPD said another $1.85 billion was spent on "other monetization methods." That category covers money spent on used games, game rentals, subscriptions, digital full-game downloads, social network games, downloadable content, and mobile games.
Hardware and accessories spending made up the remaining difference, roughly $2.02 billion.
"While the new physical retail channel still generates the majority of industry sales, our expanded research coverage allows us to assess the total consumer spend across the growing number of ways to acquire and experience gaming, including mobile apps and downloadable content," said NPD's Anita Frazier.
The Total Consumer Spend report derived its figures from a combination of retail tracking, consumer studies, and spend predictions from retailers, and through "calibration with third-party sources."