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February gaming sales show how much more fans have been playing over the last year

The NPD Group’s February gaming sales report is in, and the industry saw a significant increase over last February. The data shows just how much more popular gaming has becoming during the past year amid the pandemic.

NPD Group is a data-tracking company that follows the video game industry. Analyst Mat Piscatella took to Twitter to break down its recent February results, which contain information on game and console sales. This month’s results are especially notable considering that February 2020 was the last month before the pandemic began in the United States.

Spending across the gaming industry was up to $4.6 billion, which is a 35% increase compared to last February. Hardware sales alone were up 121%, marking the best February for console sales since 2011.

Feb 2021 US NPD THREAD – February 2021 consumer spending across video game hardware, content and accessories reached a February record $4.6B, 35 percent higher when compared to a year ago. Year-to-date spending totaled $9.3B, 39 percent higher than the same period in 2020.

— Mat Piscatella (@MatPiscatella) March 12, 2021

The Nintendo Switch was the month’s bestselling console, rather than the elusive PS5 or Xbox Series X. Its February sales were the best for any gaming console since the Nintendo Wii in 2009. The Switch is now Nintendo’s second-bestselling console of all time, exceeding the Nintendo DS. Meanwhile, the PS5 came in second and is now the fastest-selling console in history.

As for software sales, Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury topped the charts. The re-release is already 2021’s second-bestselling game, not including digital sales. Other new releases fared well, with Persona 5 Strikers landing at number three and Little Nightmares 2 in sixth.

The data shows just how much more people are gaming during the pandemic. The industry is coming off a record-setting year when it raked in an estimated $180 billion as people were stuck at home.

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