US gamers spent $15.39 billion on content in 2013

New NPD Group research shows measly 1 percent year-over-year growth for software; hardware sales rise 5 percent thanks to PS4 and Xbox One.

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Gamers in the United States spent $15.39 billion on games in 2013, up a measly 1 percent from last year, according to new research published by the NPD Group this week.

Breaking down that figure, the NPD Group says gamers spent $6.34 billion on new physical and PC games, while they shelled out $1.83 billion for used games and rentals.

Meanwhile, digital content (full-game sales, DLC, subscriptions, mobile games, and social network games) took the lion's share, accounting for $7.22 billion.This strong growth for digital content helped offset an 11 percent decline in new physical sales, the NPD Group said.

Hardware was also on the rise in 2013. Thanks to the big launches of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, hardware sales were up 5 percent compared to 2012. Combining hardware and content sales, 2013 saw a 2 percent overall increase in total consumer spending over 2012.

"The bottom line is that the overall games market is growing,” NPD Group analyst Liam Callahan said in a statement. “NPD reported declines in content and hardware spending in both 2011 and 2012, so the growth in 2013 is a positive indicator for future market growth as we enter the first full year with all three new consoles on the market.”

The NPD Group will release its report for January 2014 tomorrow evening.

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