The gaming industry has been doing quite well in recent months, with much of that strong performance coming thanks to the Nintendo Switch which is still dominating sales. The NPD Group keeps track of the industry and according to its numbers, hardware sales doubled year-over-year for January. While Nintendo might have the hottest console out there right now, NPD says that Sony and Microsoft also benefitted from the boom in hardware spending.
"Hardware spending in January 2018 grew 119 percent when compared to a year ago, to $278 million," NPD analyst Mat Piscatella said. "Spending gains were driven by Switch, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 hardware sales growth."
NPD says that this is a sign that the gaming market is as healthy as ever. One bit of evidence to support that theory is that despite the Nintendo Switch's strong sales in 2017, that console didn’t take significant numbers of gamers from Microsoft or Sony.
"PlayStation 4, Switch, and Xbox One all performed well in the month of January," added Piscatella. "In dollar sales, the gap between the top-selling platform and the third best-selling was only 3 percent. Nintendo Switch was the month's best-selling platform in Unit sales, while PlayStation 4 topped dollar sales. Xbox One dollar and unit sales in January 2018 are the highest achieved for the platform in a January month."
Sales for January were strong enough to put down the best month for consoles since early 2011 when the Xbox 360, PS3, Nintendo 3DS, and Wii were all at the height of popularity. "January hardware dollar sales of $278 million is the highest level achieved since the $323 million sold in January 2011," said Piscatella. "Over one million units of hardware sold in January 2018, also the highest tally since January 2011." The Switch has turned out to be a very hackable gaming device, it was recently turned into a functional Linux tablet.