NPD Group Expects Booming Time for Video Game Industry This Christmas

If you thought 2017 was a great year for gamers – and it absolutely was – looks like 2018 will carry that momentum throughout the year. It doesn’t matter if you’re a PC gamer, console owner, mobile player … there truly is a bit of something for everyone.

As a gamer and tech journo/blogger, I’m always transfixed by the video game industry. There are plenty of reasons to be excited, and here are some predictions as to what can be expected in the end of the year.

The NPD Group’s Mat Piscatella, industry analyst of U.S. Games, offers the following gaming industry predictions for Q4 2018:

In a very tight race, Red Dead Redemption 2 will edge out Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 to be both the best-selling game of Q4, and 2018’s best-selling game of the year. Battlefield V, NBA 2K19 and Far Cry 5 will round out the year’s top 5 best-sellers list.

Driven by the launches of Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu!, Pokemon: Let’s Go, Eevee! and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Nintendo Switch will be the best-selling console of the fourth quarter in unit sales, while also elevating the platform to be the best-selling console of the year.

By year’s end, the time aligned installed base of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One will exceed that of the PlayStation 2 and Xbox by 6 percent and will be ahead of the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 by at least 30 percent.

All three current generation consoles will each generate at least 4m units sold in 2018. Total 2018 hardware sales across all console and portable platforms should exceed 17.5m units, the highest total achieved in the U.S. market since 2012.

Headset and gamepad sales will continue to show very strong growth rates through the rest of 2018, with high double-digit growth shown in the fourth quarter for both accessory types.

Physical video game title release count will exceed 400 unique titles, finishing the year up at least 15 percent when compared to 2017.

Physical video game software dollar sales will finish the year with growth of at least 8 percent when compared to a year ago, while digital full-game sales will continue to grow at double digit percentage rates.

I have to agree with Mr. Piscatella’s assessment of the 2018 Christmas holiday shopping season will be “arguably the best this decade” for video games.

What are you excited to play?

[Image courtesy of Stocksnap / Lalesh Aldarwish]

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