Consumer Tech Spending Still Rising, Digital Distribution Is Too

Wondering if this whole "consumer electronics" thing is just some fading trend? Wonder no more. It's been fairly obvious to us, following the industry over the past decade and change, that technology is only growing more and more important. What was once a luxury reserved for a few, is now making an impact nearly everywhere. Hospitals, geriatrics, teens, infants -- you name it, and technology's there. According to the Q2 2011 Games Industry: Total Consumer Spend report from leading market research company, The NPD Group, in addition to the $1.44 billion spent in the U.S. by consumers on new physical video and PC game software in the second quarter of 2011, the total consumer spend on content via other monetization methods, including used games, game rentals, subscriptions, digital full-game downloads, social network games, downloadable content, and mobile games, is estimated at $1.74 billion. The total amount spent by consumers on hardware, content and accessories is estimated at $4.5 billion, an increase of 1 percent versus Q2 2010.

"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 Anita Frazier, industry analyst, The NPD Group. "Through a combination of point-of-sale and consumer research tracking, The NPD Group is providing an expanded, more comprehensive measure of a dynamic and rapidly evolving games industry. We are excited that we are expanding our coverage of the consumer spend in emerging distribution channels to cover the UK, France and Germany in early 2012."

So, two main points to take home here. First off, spending on consumer tech isn't going to vanish anytime soon. And second, digital distribution methods are skyrocketing. Physical stores aren't going to become unimportant overnight, but you can believe they're on watch. So, what have you downloaded lately? We're guessing it's something...