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Game sales soar in June, thanks to The Last of Us: Part II, Nintendo Switch

U.S. video game revenue nearly hit an all-time high in June, thanks to The Last of Us: Part II launch and continued interest in Nintendo’s Switch.

Video game hardware, software, and accessories sales topped $1.2 billion last month, representing a 26% year-over-year gain, NPD reported on Friday. It was the second-biggest June sales tally of all time, just behind June 2009’s $1.3 billion in spending. So far this year, players have spent $6.6 on gaming, nearly matching 2010’s six-month record of $7 billion.

June’s performance was driven by a 49% year-over-year leap in software spending to $570 million. <em>The Last of Us: Part II</em> was the top-selling game last month and is already the third-best-selling game of 2020. <em>Call of Duty: Modern Warfare</em>, which has dominated the top-selling games chart since its launch last year, landed in the second spot.

<em>Animal Crossing: New Horizons</em> took third place and <em>Grand Theft Auto V</em> fell from second place in May to the fourth slot last month. <em>Mortal Kombat 11</em> rounded out the top five.

The 2019 Nintendo Switch title <em>Ring Fit Adventure</em> landed in the 835th spot for top-selling games in May, NPD said. Last month, it soared to 19th place after retailers replenished their stock of the game.

Accessories sales surged 29% year-over-year to $417 million last month. Microsoft’s Xbox Elite Series 2 Wireless Controller was the top-selling accessory.

On the hardware front, Nintendo’s Switch remained the top-selling console in both unit sales and dollars spent. NPD’s data suggests, however, that consumers may be saving up for the next-generation console cycle. Hardware spending was down 17% year-over-year to $191 million — the first drop since February.

The game industry was one of the few to benefit from the coronavirus pandemic. With players locked in, they’ve turned to video games for entertainment and to reduce stress. Looking ahead, game companies expect that demand to continue and Sony earlier this week doubled its 2020 PlayStation 5 production target from 5 million units to 10 million.

NPD’s provides monthly glimpses into the video game industry’s performance. The research firm’s data includes physical sales of hardware, software, and accessories, as well as digital game sales data game publishers share with the company. NPD doesn’t publicly share game or hardware unit sales data.

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Don Reisinger
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology, video game, and entertainment journalist. He has been writing about the world of…
From The Last of Us to Immortality, these are 2022’s most innovative games
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What makes the video game industry so exciting is that it’s still relatively young. Developers are still routinely discovering new ways to turn the medium on its head, redefining the idea of what a game is by bucking against trends. Though major productions like God of War Ragnarok are no doubt impressive, the most groundbreaking titles are often the less obvious ones.

That was the case in 2022, which saw developers entirely deconstructing some fundamentals about games. In some cases, that was expressed through new approaches to gameplay, creating experiences that are unlike anything I’ve ever seen from the medium. Others were even more high-level, challenging us to think about who certain projects are for. From a massive remake project to the tiniest action game, these were some of 2022’s most innovative games.
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The best games of September 2022: The Last of Us, Splatoon 3, and more
Ellie and Joel driving.

After a summer full of ups and downs in terms of game releases, the fall season started off strong in September. Every week brought tons of notable games to try, and they ran the gamut from disappointing to outstanding. Fans of almost every gaming genre had something to check out this month. Some of these titles experimented with new mechanics and tried to push the industry forward, while others repeated winning formulas to great success. 
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The Last of Us Part 1 
The Last of Us Part I Rebuilt for PS5 - Features and Gameplay Trailer | PS5 Games
The Last of Us Part 1 is a pretty divisive title as it's a $70 PS5 remake of a game that was already available on PS4 for just $20. If you ignore the price though, The Last of Us is still a great game. On top of giving the original a nice visual overhaul, The Last of Us Part 1 also incorporates some industry-leading accessibility options. Overall, the remake ensures that people who've never been able to try the PS3 classic now have the best way to experience one of the greatest games of all time.
"The Last of Us Part I shows that Naughty Dog’s gritty action game is still an enduring classic that hasn’t aged a day," Giovanni Colantonio wrote in a four-and-a-half star review of the remake. "Though that’s largely because Sony won’t allow it to, as evidenced by a mostly superfluous remake that doesn’t meaningfully improve on the game’s perfectly modern (and much cheaper) 2014 remaster. However, the project does once again push the industry forward in an important way: by raising the bar for accessibility in gaming’s past, present, and future."
So, this is a bit of an odd case where almost everyone will be in one of two camps. If you’re still a bit salty that Sony is charging $70 for this remake, then The Last of Us Part I probably isn’t worth it for you. But if you’ve never played it before or require more thorough accessibility options to enjoy video games, then it’s a must-play. The Last of Us Part I is available now exclusively on PS5.
Splatoon 3
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Shovel Knight Dig
Shovel Knight Dig is OUT NOW!
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Desta: The Memories Between
Desta: The Memories Between | Official Game Teaser | Netflix
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Railbound
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The Wandering Village
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Return to Monkey Island
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Return to Monkey Island may not give players the answers they want, but it does perhaps give them the one they need to hear. The game is available now on PC and Nintendo Switch. ~ Giovanni Colantonio

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As a remake, The Last of Us Part 1 remains incredibly faithful to how the original played and the mechanics you had at your disposal. While some speculated that features or mechanics from The Last of Us Part 2 might find their way being retroactively included, that turned out not to be the case. For those who loved the original just as it was, this is great news to learn that nothing mechanically is different from the game you loved, but plenty of people who played the sequel might have some trouble adjusting.

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