Sony also said in May that 51% of its game sales during the 12 months to March 2020 were digital, up from 37% in the year before.
And during the 12 months to March 2020, 55% of Take-Two’s console software sales were also digital, according to Niko Partners senior analyst Daniel Ahmad.
“It’s worth noting that we entered the current console generation (2013) with digital downloads accounting for around 5-10% of unit sales,” he said on Thursday. “Now we’re entering next gen with 50%+ as standard.”
In some European regions, digital has been the predominate means of sale for a year, according to GamesIndustry.biz.
Digital sales have been particularly strong during the Covid-19 pandemic. Research firm SuperData said worldwide digital gaming revenue in March reached a record monthly total of $10 billion following the introduction of social isolation measures designed to combat the coronavirus. The figure rose to $10.54 billion in April and totalled $10.46 billion in June.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is estimated to have sold five million copies digitally in March—more than any other console game in history—while The Last of Us Part 2 recorded the biggest digital launch month sales of any PlayStation exclusive in June.
Two PS5 models are scheduled to launch during the 2020 holiday season. While one will have an Ultra HD Blu-ray disc drive, the other will sacrifice the feature, likely for a lower price point. According to recent analysis, the PS5 Digital Edition could cost $50 less than the disc version.
Microsoft may also be gearing up to release a digital-only next-gen console alongside Xbox Series X this holiday. As reported by multiple media outlets including VGC, Lockhart – or Series S, as it’s likely to be called – is a less powerful version of Series X that will likely target cost-conscious consumers.