Game sales make super jump to $3.45B

Video games sales are up 17 percent, says NPD Group, marking the largest industry growth since the second quarter of 2011.

Sony

The video game industry had a strong third quarter, shows new data from research firm NPD.

During July to September, US consumers spent $3.45 billion on video games, representing a 17 percent increase over the same period in 2012. Perhaps more important to industry companies, the gain was the strongest year-over-year growth since the second quarter of 2011.

NPD's data shows that while PC and console game discs are still a large chunk of the gaming space, digital is coming on strong. In fact, digital sales -- which includes full games, add-on content, subscriptions, mobile games, and social-network games -- during the third quarter reached $1.72 billion. New physical game sales were $1.3 billion, while used games and rentals tallied $436 million.

Spending on new physical games was up 20 percent year-over-year in the third quarter, according to NPD, and digital content spending was up 35 percent. In total, video game spending increased 17 percent in the third quarter.

Although NPD didn't make a prediction for the fourth quarter, it appears that it'll be another big quarter for the gaming industry. Last week, Sony shipped its PlayStation 4 console to the US, while Microsoft's Xbox One is set to hit store shelves on Friday. Given past console launches and excitement surrounding those two devices, industry revenue should skyrocket compared to the same period last year.

Correction, 10:45 a.m. PT:This story initially misstated what NPD Group's video game spending report covered. US consumers spent $3.45 billion on video game content in the third quarter.

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