Sort of... For the first time in the history of the game industry digital sales have finally passed retail sales in the United States, according to new data released by NPD Group for the second quarter of 2011. Of course, the numbers they present are not all digital sales; NPD's category for “digital sales” is an amalgamation of digital sales, used game sales, and game rentals.
In the second quarter, NPD estimates that digital revenues were right around $1.74 billion, exceeding the $1.44 billion spent on physical sales in the same period. In the first quarter retail sales totaled $2 billion, while digital sales were right around $1.85 billion.
While this is interesting news for those selling in the digital space, it comes with caveats because a good chunk of the aforementioned figure comes from used game sales. And because we don't have a breakdown of used game sales in the quarter, calling this a victory for real, pure digital sales would be premature.
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