Digital drives $2.9 billion in game-spending in Q2

Just $769 million was spent by U.S. consumers across the so-called "physical" channel, while $1.77 billion was spent on digital gaming content.

Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
It looks like consumers are waiting on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 before spending cash.
It looks like consumers are waiting on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 before spending cash. James Martin/CNET

Digital gaming is driving much of the spending in the gaming business, new data from research firm NPD has revealed.

The research firm on Thursday reported that total gaming-industry spending in the second quarter of 2013 hit $2.9 billion in the U.S., representing a 3 percent decline compared to the same period last year. The decline was due in large part to a softening console market as consumers anticipated the upcoming PlayStation 4 and Xbox One and stopped short of picking up current-generation hardware, NPD says.

The research firm's data also shows how consumers are continuing to invest heavily in digital content. Total physical spending -- essentially all the cash spent on game discs, hardware, and accessories -- hit only $769 million during the second quarter. Digital spending, which includes full game and add-on content downloads, among other things, reached $1.8 billion during the period. The balance was made up of used game purchases and rentals.

NPD didn't say what might happen in the gaming business going forward, but considering new consoles are launching in November, the fourth quarter should be stronger.