UK sales of video games and consoles rose during the first quarter of the year, according to the latest market data from GSD and GfK.
GSD data shows that game sales (including physical and digital downloads) rose 1% compared with the same period last year, with just under eight million games sold. It’s an impressive achievement considering Q1 2022 featured major launches such as Pokémon Legends: Arceus, Elden Ring and Horizon: Forbidden West.
The success of the software market was driven by Hogwarts Legacy, which is the fastest-selling video game in the UK outside of FIFA and Call of Duty since Red Dead Redemption 2. It has already outsold two of last year’s best-selling games: LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga and Elden Ring.
The console hardware space is up a substantial 24.2% for the first quarter of the year, GfK data shows. This is due to the PS5, which is now in fully supply but was largely missing from shelves during Q1 last year. PS5 sales are up over 180% for the first three months of the year, and Sony’s new console accounted for over half the market during the quarter.
The success off-set a steep decline in Nintendo Switch sales (down over 25%), which is the No.2 console of the year so far. Xbox Series S and X sales were also down 18% for the first quarter.
Resident Evil 4 comes out top in March
Delving into the March market data, and sales were actually down a little bit. 2.7 million digital and physical games were sold (GSD data), which is a fall of 3% year-on-year.
The Resident Evil 4 remake claimed the No.1 spot, despite launching late in the month. The Capcom game didn't sell quite as strongly as the Resident Evil 2 Remake or the recent Resident Evil Village, but surpassed the performance of 2020's Resident Evil 3 remake.
65% of Resident Evil 4 sales were on PlayStation platforms, 20% on Xbox and 15% on PC.
The horror game’s success meant that Hogwarts Legacy had to settle for second spot last month.
The next biggest new release is WWE 2K23 at No.4. The game's first three weeks of sales were 20% lower than last year's WWE 2K22. However, last year's title was a long time coming, so had more pent-up demand.
Next on the new release slate is the new action adventure game Tchia at No.6. Just in the Top Ten is Metroid Prime Remastered at No.9. Nintendo doesn't share digital data with the charts company, so this is based purely on physical sales. The game actually launched on the Nintendo Eshop first in February.
March 2022 saw continued strong sales for Elden Ring, plus the launch of Gran Turismo 7 on PlayStation formats.
In terms of consoles, GfK panel data shows that sales dropped 3% to 138,000 consoles sold vs February. However, it's a jump of 23% over last March
PS5 was the No.1 console of March, although sales did slip ever-so-slightly (down 2%). The No.2 console was Nintendo Switch, although sales rose (very very slightly) in March compared with February. This was helped by a new Super Mario hardware bundle.The Red Switch bundle accounted for 12.8% of all Switch consoles sold last month, behind the White OLED (23.6%) and the Neon Switch (26.3%).
The next three months will be key for Switch, with the launch of the new Super Mario movie, plus The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.
Xbox Series S and X sales were down slightly by 10%.
Over in accessories, 616,045 add-on products were sold during March, over 20% up compared with February, but down 3.7% when compared to March 2022 (GfK panel data).
In a rare change, the PS5 DualSense controller fell to No.2 this time. The Xbox Wireless Controller (Carbon Black) rose three places to become the best-selling accessory by volume, with a price cut coming in for the last two weeks of the month (an average fall of £6 to £45.50). This price promotion also boosted Microsoft’s Robot White Controller, rising from No.7 in February to No3 by units sold.
In terms of revenue, the best-seller for March 2023 is Sony’s DualSense Edge Wireless Controller. With a first full month of sales under its belt, the controller rose from No.52 to No.7 by volume, but was No.1 by revenue (it was already No.9 by revenue during February). The controller was initially only available directly via Sony (which isn’t tracked by GfK), but is now on sale at other stores.
UK GSD March 2023 Top 10 (Digital + Physical)
|1||Resident Evil 4 Remake (Capcom)|
|2||Hogwarts Legacy (Warner Bros)|
|3||FIFA 23 (EA)|
|4||WWE 2K23 (2K Games)|
|5||Grand Theft Auto 5 (Rockstar)|
|7||Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (Activision Blizzard)|
|8||Red Dead Redemption 2 (Rockstar)|
|9||Metroid Prime Remastered (Nintendo)*|
|10||NBA 2K23 (2K Games)|