NEW YORK - First-quarter U.S. spending on new physical video and PC game software amounted to $2.03 billion, but digital downloads, used and rented games, mobile games, social network games and game subscriptions added $1.85 billion to that figure, research firm NPD Group said Monday.
When including such newer revenue streams, it estimated that the total amount spent by consumers on gaming hardware, as well as content and accessories in the quarter came to $5.9 billion, up 1.5 percent from the year-ago period.
It had previously said that new physical sales of video game hardware, software and accessories, its traditional research focus, were down 1 percent in the first quarter.
The new and expanded data is part of NPD's attempt to give a fuller picture of video game sales trends.
It is included in the firm's "Games Industry: Total Consumer Spend report," which is based on data gathered through point-of-sale and consumer research tracking.
"While the new physical retail channel still generates the majority of industry sales, our expanded research coverage allows us to assess the total consumer spend across the growing number of ways to acquire and experience gaming, including mobile apps and downloadable content," said NPD analyst Anita Frazier in highlighting what she said was an "expanded, more comprehensive measure of a dynamic and rapidly evolving games industry."