Earlier in the week, I posted a discussion point asking you guys whether you preferred digital downloads or physical media for your games. Most of you said you preferred physical because the hazards of digital are too many, but a few of you have gone digital only. The most recent NPD numbers show you guys aren’t alone, as the sales of digital only have grown massively over just the last year.
U.S. consumers spent a total of $14.8 billion on video games, as a complete number, including used software sales, rentals, and digital purchases. Consoles and accessory purchases are not included in that number. That’s a drop of 9% from last year’s number of $16.34 billion. Used games drew in $1.79 billion, while physical retail copies of game saw $7.09 billion in income. Digital copies of games, including DLC and subscriptions saw income of %5.92 billion. This category has grown significantly since 2011. Retail boxed games saw a 21% drop in sales compared to the same period in 2011, while digital saw a 16% increase.
Keep in mind that NPD numbers are always estimates, but this is evident that digital only is the way many consumers are going. With access to better internet and services like Nintendo eShop finally being available, retail releases don’t have as much power as they did before. Customers who prefer physical will always exist, but digital distribution is fast becoming a customer favorite.