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May 2022 NPD: Switch leads sales and Elden Ring retakes the top spot

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May 2022 NPD: Switch leads sales and Elden Ring retakes the top spot

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After a brief uptick last month, hardware sales have again fallen, according to industry-tracking firm The NPD Group. The continued console scarcity alongside a relatively quiet release period appears to have put the industry in a bit of a slump.

May 2022 Dollar Sales, Millions May 2021 May 2022 Change
Total Video Game Sales $4,522 $3,680 -19%
Video Game Content (Physical & Digital Full Game, DLC/MTX and Subscription consumer spending across Console, Cloud, Mobile*, Portable, PC and VR) platforms) $4,136 $3,332 -19%
Video Game Hardware $244 $216 -11%
Video Game Accessories $142 $131 -7%
*Mobile spending provided by Sensor Tower.

“May 2022 consumer spending across video game hardware, content and accessories fell 19% when compared to a year ago, to $3.7 billion,” said NPD analyst Mat Piscatella. “This is the lowest monthly spending total the industry has achieved since February 2020 ($3.5 billion).”

This should not come as a great surprise, though. Following the many huge releases earlier this year, the summer has not seen as many important game launches. Consoles are also difficult to come by. But gamers are still spending money, with the Nintendo Switch leading in hardware sales.

Year-to-Date 2022 Dollar Sales, Millions YTD 2021 YTD 2022 Change
Total Video Game Sales $24,409 $21,938 -10%
Video Game Content (Physical & Digital Full Game, DLC/MTX and Subscription consumer spending across Console, Cloud, Mobile*, Portable, PC and VR) platforms) $21,449 $19,305 -10%
Video Game Hardware $1,944 $1,759 -9%
Video Game Accessories $1,017 $875 -14%
*Mobile spending provided by Sensor Tower.

Piscatella said, “Year-to-date spending has reached $21.9 billion, a 10% drop when compared to the same period in 2021. Subscription content is the only category showing year-on-year spending growth.”

May 2022 NPD: Top 20 best-selling games of the month in the U.S.

NPD tracks physical sales at retailers, but it also gets digital data directly from publishers. Not every company participates. For example, Nintendo doesn’t share its first-party sales, and Activision Blizzard does not provide its Battle.net sales.

These charts are sorted by dollar sales — not number of units sold. And this is for full-game sales and does not include in-game spending.

Rank Last

month

rank
All Platforms Publisher
1 2 Elden Ring Bandai Namco Entertainment
2 1 LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga Warner Bros. Interactive
3 5 Nintendo Switch Sports* Nintendo
4 NEW Evil Dead: The Game Saber Interactive
5 3 MLB: The Show 22^ Multiple Video Game Manufacturers
6 4 Kirby and the Forgotten Land* Nintendo
7 6 Call of Duty: Vanguard Activision Blizzard (Corp)
8 8 Mario Kart 8* Nintendo
9 9 Gran Turismo 7 Sony (Corp)
10 10 Pokémon Legends: Arceus* Nintendo
11 11 Minecraft Multiple Video Game Manufacturers
12 7 Horizon II: Forbidden West Sony (Corp)
13 16 Animal Crossing: New Horizons* Nintendo
14 14 Super Smash Bros. Ultimate* Nintendo
15 13 Call of Duty: Black Ops: Cold War Activision Blizzard (Corp)
16 12 FIFA 22 Electronic Arts
17 18 Mario Party Superstars* Nintendo
18 45 Pokemon: Brilliant Diamond/Shining Pearl Nintendo
19 23 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019) Activision Blizzard (Corp)
20 34 The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Multiple Video Game Manufacturers
*Digital sales not included
^Xbox & Switch digital sales not included

After a brief period of Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga dominating, Elden Ring is back on top as the best-selling game of the month. According to Piscatella, it was the best-selling game on Steam and Xbox, and second-best on PlayStation. The Lego title is forced to take silver medal, but Horizon: Forbidden West has taken the biggest fall from grace, out of the top 10 entirely.

Evil Dead: The Game

The only new game to appear on the top-selling charts in May was Evil Dead: The Game. While the game is a good one, the fact it is the only title to appear on the list is more out of a lack of releases than an abundance of low-selling ones. May had a light release slate, with other debuts including games such as Vampire: The Masquerade — Swansong, Trek to Yomi, and Salt and Sacrifice.

Piscatella speculated on Twitter that a high cost of everyday spending may have also had an impact on the low numbers. Consumers are also returning to “experiential spending” as opposed to buying items like games.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Curiously, Skyrim has reappeared in the top 20 for the first time since November 2017. While Skyrim has been around in a peripheral sense since it launched over ten years ago, its sudden spike onto the top 20 is still a bit of a surprise.

One possible cause of this, according to Piscatella, is the release of the Steam Deck. Another possibility is that Bethesda RPG fans are self-medicating with a familiar game following the announced delay of Starfield.

May 2022 NPD: 20 best-selling games of 2022 so far

Rank Last

Month

Rank
All Platforms Publisher
1 1 Elden Ring Bandai Namco Entertainment
2 2 LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga Warner Bros. Interactive
3 3 Pokémon Legends: Arceus* Nintendo
4 4 Horizon II: Forbidden West Sony (Corp)
5 5 MLB: The Show 22^ Multiple Video Game Manufacturers
6 7 Call of Duty: Vanguard Activision Blizzard (Corp)
7 6 Gran Turismo 7 Sony (Corp)
8 8 Kirby and the Forgotten Land* Nintendo
9 10 Mario Kart 8* Nintendo
10 9 Madden NFL 22 Electronic Arts
11 11 FIFA 22 Electronic Arts
12 13 Minecraft Multiple Video Game Manufacturers
13 33 Nintendo Switch Sports* Nintendo
14 12 Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales Sony (Corp)
15 15 Monster Hunter: Rise Capcom USA
16 14 Dying Light 2: Stay Human Square Enix Inc (Corp)
17 17 Animal Crossing: New Horizons Nintendo
18 16 Mario Party Superstars* Nintendo
19 18 Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Nintendo
20 20 Call of Duty: Black Ops: Cold War Activision Blizzard (Corp)
*Digital sales not included
^Xbox & Switch digital sales not included

May 2022 NPD: Top 10 best-selling games of the 12 months

Rank Last

Month

Rank
All Platforms Publisher
1 1 Elden Ring Bandai Namco Entertainment
2 2 Call of Duty: Vanguard Activision Blizzard (Corp)
3 3 Madden NFL 22 Electronic Arts
4 4 Pokémon: Brilliant Diamond: Shining Pearl* Nintendo
5 6 LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga Warner Bros. Interactive
6 5 Battlefield 2042 Electronic Arts
7 8 FIFA 22 Electronic Arts
8 7 Far Cry 6 Ubisoft
9 10 Pokémon Legends: Arceus* Nintendo
10 11 Mario Kart 8* Nintendo
*Digital sales not included

May 2022 NPD: Top 10 best-selling Nintendo-platform games in the U.S.

Rank Last

Month

Rank
Nintendo Platforms

(Physical and Full Game Digital from the Nintendo eShop, PlayStation, STEAM and Xbox platforms for publishers in the Digital Leader Panel) ranked on dollar sales
Publisher
1 3 Nintendo Switch Sports* Nintendo
2 2 Kirby and the Forgotten Land Nintendo
3 1 LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga Warner Bros. Interactive
4 4 Mario Kart 8* Nintendo
5 5 Pokémon Legends: Arceus* Nintendo
6 7 Animal Crossing: New Horizons* Nintendo
7 6 Super Smash Bros. Ultimate* Nintendo
8 8 Mario Party Superstars* Nintendo
9 16 Pokémon: Brilliant Diamond/Shining Pearl* Nintendo
10 9 The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild* Nintendo
*Digital sales not included

May 2022 NPD: Top 10 best-selling PlayStation-platform games in the U.S.

Rank Last

Month

Rank
PlayStation Platforms

(Physical and Full Game Digital from the Nintendo eShop, PlayStation, STEAM and Xbox platforms for publishers in the Digital Leader Panel) ranked on dollar sales
Publisher
1 2 MLB: The Show 22 Sony (Corp)
2 3 Elden Ring Bandai Namco Entertainment
3 NEW Evil Dead: The Game Saber Interactive
4 1 LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga Warner Bros. Interactive
5 5 Gran Turismo 7 Sony (Corp)
6 4 Horizon II: Forbidden West Sony (Corp)
7 6 Call of Duty: Vanguard Activision Blizzard (Corp)
8 7 Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales Sony (Corp)
9 11 Ghost of Tsushima Sony (Corp)
10 14 Minecraft Microsoft (Corp)
*Digital sales not included

May 2022 NPD: Top 10 best-selling Xbox-platform games in the U.S.

Rank Last

Month

Rank
Xbox Platforms (Physical and Full Game Digital from the Nintendo eShop, PlayStation, STEAM and Xbox platforms for publishers in the Digital Leader Panel) ranked on dollar sales Publisher
1 2 Elden Ring Bandai Namco Entertainment
2 1 LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga Warner Bros. Interactive
3 NEW Evil Dead: The Game Saber Interactive
4 3 Call of Duty: Vanguard Activision Blizzard (Corp)
5 4 Call of Duty: Black Ops: Cold War Activision Blizzard (Corp)
6 9 FIFA 22 Electronic Arts
7 6 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019) Activision Blizzard (Corp)
8 10 Call of Duty: Black Ops III Activision Blizzard (Corp)
9 5 Forza Horizon 5 Microsoft (Corp)
20 7 Halo: Infinite Microsoft (Corp)
*Digital sales not included

GamesBeat’s creed when covering the game industry is “where passion meets business.” What does this mean? We want to tell you how the news matters to you — not just as a decision-maker at a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn about the industry and enjoy engaging with it. Learn more about membership.

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Nothing announces official launch date for new Ear (stick) AirPods alternatives

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Nothing announces official launch date for new Ear (stick) AirPods alternatives
Nothing Ear (stick) held by a model on white background



(Image credit: Nothing )

True to form, Nothing has just announced the full reveal date for its upcoming audio product, Ear (stick). 

So, an announcement about an announcement. You’ve got to hand it to Carl Pei’s marketing department, they never miss a trick.

What we’re saying is that although we still have ‘nothing’ conclusive about the features, pricing or release date for the Ear (stick) except an image of another model holding them (and we’ve seen plenty of those traipsing down the catwalk recently), we do have a date – the day when we’ll be granted official access to this information. 

That day is October 26. Nothing assures us that on this day we’ll be able to find out everything, including pricing and product specifications, during the online Ear (stick) Reveal, at 3PM BST (which is 10AM ET, or 1AM on Wednesday if you’re in Sydney, Australia) on nothing.tech (opens in new tab)

Any further information? A little. Nothing calls the Ear (stick), which is now the product’s official name, “the next generation of Nothing sound technology”, and its “most advanced audio product yet”. 

But that’s not all! Apparently, Ear (stick) are “half in-ear true wireless earbuds that balance supreme comfort with exceptional sound, made not to be felt when in use. They’re feather-light with an ergonomic design that’s moulded to your ears. Delivered in a unique charging case, inspired by classic cosmetic silhouettes, and compactly formed to simply glide into pockets.” 

Opinion: I need more than a lipstick-style case

Nothing Ear (stick) – official leaked renders pic.twitter.com/FrhKmRttmiOctober 1, 2022

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It’s no secret that I want Nothing’s earbuds to succeed in world dominated by AirPods; who doesn’t love a plucky, eccentric underdog? 

But in order to become some of the best true wireless earbuds on the market, there is room for improvement over the Nothing Ear 1, the company’s inaugural earbuds. 

Aside from this official ‘news’ from Nothing, leaked images and videos of the Ear (stick) have been springing up all over the internet (thank you, developer Kuba Wojciechowski) and they depict earbuds that look largely unchanged, which is a shame. 

For me, the focus needs to shift from gimmicks such as a cylindrical case with a red section at the end which twists up like a lipstick. Don’t get me wrong, I love a bit of theater, but only if the sound coming from the earbuds themselves is top dog. 

As the natural companions for the Nothing Phone 1, it makes sense for the Ear (stick) to take a place similar to that of Apple’s AirPods 3, where the flagship Ear (1) sit alongside the AirPods Pro 2 as a flagship offering. 

See, that lipstick case shape likely will not support wireless charging. That and the rumored lack of ANC means the Ear (stick) is probably arriving as the more affordable option in Nothing’s ouevre. 

For now, we sit tight until October 26. 

Becky is a senior staff writer at TechRadar (which she has been assured refers to expertise rather than age) focusing on all things audio. Before joining the team, she spent three years at What Hi-Fi? testing and reviewing everything from wallet-friendly wireless earbuds to huge high-end sound systems. Prior to gaining her MA in Journalism in 2018, Becky freelanced as an arts critic alongside a 22-year career as a professional dancer and aerialist – any love of dance starts with a love of music. Becky has previously contributed to Stuff, FourFourTwo and The Stage. When not writing, she can still be found throwing shapes in a dance studio, these days with varying degrees of success.  

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YouTube could make 4K videos exclusive to Premium subscribers

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YouTube could make 4K videos exclusive to Premium subscribers
Woman watching YouTube on mobile phone screen



(Image credit: Shutterstock / Kicking Studio)

You might soon have to buy YouTube Premium to watch 4K YouTube videos, a new user test suggests.

According to a Reddit thread (opens in new tab) highlighted on Twitter by leaker Alvin (opens in new tab), several non-Premium YouTube users have reported seeing 4K resolution (and higher) video options limited to YouTube Premium subscribers on their iOS devices. For these individuals, videos are currently only available to stream in up to 1440p (QHD) resolution.

The apparent experiment only seems to be affecting a handful of YouTube users for now, but it suggests owner Google is toying with the idea of implementing a site-wide paywall for access to high-quality video in the future.

So, after testing up to 12 ads on YouTube for non-Premium users, now some users reported that they also have to get a Premium account just to watch videos in 4K. pic.twitter.com/jJodoAxeDpOctober 1, 2022

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It’s no secret that Google has been searching for new ways to monetize its YouTube platform in recent months. In September, the company introduced five unskippable ads for some YouTube users as part of a separate test – an unexpected development that, naturally, didn’t go down well with much of the YouTube community. 

A resolution paywall seems a more palatable approach from Google. While annoying, the change isn’t likely to provoke the same level of ire from non-paying YouTube users as excessive ads, given that many smartphones still max out at QHD resolution anyway. 

Of course, if it encourages those who do care about high-resolution viewing to invest in the platform’s Premium subscription package, it may also be more lucrative for Google. After all, YouTube Premium, which offers ad-free viewing, background playback and the ability to download videos for offline use, currently costs $11.99 / £11.99 / AU$14.99 per month.

Suffice to say, the subscription service hasn’t taken off in quite the way Google would’ve hoped since its launch in 2014. Only around 50 million users are currently signed up to YouTube Premium, while something close to 2 billion people actively use YouTube on a monthly basis. 

Might the addition of 4K video into Premium’s perk package bump up that number? Only time will tell. We’ll be keeping an eye on our own YouTube account to see whether this resolution paywall becomes permanent in the coming months.

Axel is a London-based staff writer at TechRadar, reporting on everything from the newest movies to latest Apple developments as part of the site’s daily news output. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion. 

Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned a gold standard NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme. 

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Europe sets deadline for USB-C charging for (almost) all laptops

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Europe sets deadline for USB-C charging for (almost) all laptops

USB-C als Ladestandard in der EU

Mundissima / Shutterstock


Author: Michael Crider
, Staff Writer

Michael is a former graphic designer who’s been building and tweaking desktop computers for longer than he cares to admit. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

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