Consumer spending on console hardware, games and services hit a new record high last year, according to an industry analyst.
Ampere Analysis estimates that the console market saw a total spend of $60 billion worldwide in 2021, higher than any year before it.
However, the fact that these consoles were priced at up to $499 meant that although stock was limited, those that did sell had an impact on the final figure.
The new-gen consoles weren’t the only reason for the record figure. According to Harding-Rolls: “The increase in spending was driven by higher priced new consoles available on the market and increased adoption of subscription services, such as Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass.”
Total spending on games, expansion packs, battle passes and in-game items was actually less in 2021 than in 2020, but only by 1%.
Harding-Rolls says this was “a great result considering the backdrop of heavy spending fuelled by stay-at-home orders during the previous year”.
2021 also marked the first time that the proportion of games sold that were physical dropped below 30%, due to the increasing preference for digital titles and the release of digital-only Xbox Series and PlayStation 5 consoles.
The dip in physical sales may also have been accelerated by the increase in spending on console-based games services like Xbox Game Pass.
Ampere estimates that the total global spend record will be broken again in 2022, with a prediction that it will reach $61.1 billion this year.