PS4 Tops US Sales Charts in May 2016 NPDs

PS4 comes out on top in the last full month before E3.


With E3 days away and announcements ready to potentially shake up the console business, Sony's PS4 has again come away as the top-selling console in the United States during May 2016, according to the NPD Group's May report.

Sony confirmed with GameSpot that its console came out on top in May. For the second month in a row, it didn't offer any statement on the report beyond that.

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Microsoft did comment on the report, though its focus was on anything other than Xbox One hardware sales, as is now the norm.

"In May 2016, gaming hours on Xbox One more than doubled compared to last year, driven by the launches of Overwatch and Doom as well as the addition of Call of Duty: Black Ops to the catalog of Xbox 360 titles playable on Xbox One," said marketing VP Mike Nichols in a statement shared with GameSpot. "Minecraft also hit a significant milestone with total sales to-date surpassing 106 million and an average monthly unique player rate of more than 40 million across all platforms. We are just days away from E3 2016 and we're excited to share more details on what Xbox fans can expect this year and beyond. We expect this to be a special E3."

Xbox One last outsold PS4 in the US during October 2015.

Nintendo also commented, highlighting the impact of the 2DS' price drop to $80. Sales increased 38 percent over April, and 148 percent year-over-year, which the company notes happened with the price cut occurring during the final week of May.

New hardware sales in the US overall declined 10 percent during the month, from $153.1 million last May to $137.7 million this year. NPD analyst Liam Callahan attributes this largely to a drop in portable sales.

"[T]he majority of the decline in sales stemmed from portables, down $7.3 million and 7th generation hardware, down $5 million," he notes. "Eighth generation hardware unit sales were stable, but dollar sales decreased by 2 percent or $3 million due to a decrease in average price for these consoles.”

Callahan also points out that Xbox One and PS4 combined to have "43 percent higher cumulative unit sales than their predecessors at the same point in their lifecycles."

There are reports that both Microsoft and Sony could discuss new versions of their respective consoles at E3 next week. (Nintendo won't be showing the NX.) If they do, that could have a serious impact on hardware sales in June. Hardware sales were on the decline in April.

Accessories were down two percent in May, from $151.5 million last year to $149 million this year. However, video game point and subscription card sales were up eight percent, making it the best May ever for that category. Headsets and headphones were also up, as were gamepad dollar sales, thanks in part to more expensive items like the Xbox Elite controller, according to Callahan.

Overall, combined sales of hardware, new physical software, and accessories were up four percent over last year, from $509.3 million to $528.6 million.

It was a month of big releases on the software side, which explains an 18 percent jump in sales. Uncharted 4 came out on top, beating out the likes of Doom and Overwatch, though keep in mind the NPD report doesn't include digital sales, which may have really hurt PC-centric titles like the latter two.

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