It was a solid August for video games in the UK, driven by continued strong sales of PS5.
According to GfK, over 135,000 games consoles were sold last month, a rise of 22% over July and 8% up over August last year.
PlayStation 5 posted a 42% jump in sales month-on-month. The console benefited substantially from aggressive price discounting and bundles across the summer months. Overall year-to-date, PS5 sales are now up 60%.
Nintendo Switch is showing signs of slowdown this year, but it’s still holding strong. Sales dropped 5% month-on-month during August, while overall the console’s sales are down 10% year-to-date.
There was some growth for Xbox during August, with Series S and X sales up 7% compared with July. It still trails Switch and PS5, and sales are down nearly 23% year-to-date. However, the games market should expect a bit of a fightback from Microsoft heading into the last months of the year, with the release of Starfield and Forza Motorsport to come.
The success of PS5 also boosted accessories. GfK data says that 565,309 add-on products were sold in August, which is up 3.5% compared with July and 1% up over August last year.
The Top Six selling accessories last month were all for PS5. The first four were all DualSense Controllers (White, Midnight Black, Cosmic Red and Starlight Blue), followed by the DualSense Charging Station and then the Grey Camo DualSense controller.
Looking at the GSD charts, 1.75 million games were sold, which is a drop of 2.2% compared with August last year. But actually, that doesn’t tell the full story.
FIFA 23 was the best-selling game of August, according to GSD data. It was driven by a surge in sales for the Nintendo Switch version of the game, which had been discounted on Nintendo eShop.
But it wasn’t the real No.1. Baldur’s Gate 3 would almost certainly have taken the crown for August, but Larian is one of the publishers missing from the GSD panel, so unfortunately it doesn’t make the chart at all. It’s reasonable to assume that with Baldur’s Gate 3, August would have been a far bigger month.
The other big new release of the month was Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon. Armored Core is not a franchise that has a major following in the UK, but the series is created by Dark Souls and Elden Ring developer From Software, which has now become a household name. As a result, this new Armored Core has significantly outperformed its predecessors.
Rockstar had a great month with three games in the Top Ten. One of those games was Red Dead Redemption, which made its way to PS4 and Nintendo Switch during August. As a result, the game is back in the charts at No.5.
Speaking of comebacks, Quake 2 is back in the charts nearly 26 years since it was first released. The game has been remastered and updated, complete with new levels, and as a result it reached No.12 last month. Quake 2’s data is missing its Nintendo Switch sales, so the game may have charted slightly higher.
UK GSD August 2023 Top 10 (Digital + Physical)
|1||FIFA 23 (EA)|
|2||Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon (Bandai Namco)|
|3||Grand Theft Auto 5 (Rockstar)|
|4||Red Dead Redemption 2 (Rockstar)|
|5||Red Dead Redemption (Rockstar)|
|6||Hogwarts Legacy (Warner Bros)|
|7||Grand Theft Auto Online (Rockstar)|
|8||F1 23 (EA)|
|10||Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 – 2022 Edition (Activision Blizzard)|
* Digital data unavailable
GSD digital data includes games from participating companies sold via PC digital stores, Xbox Live, PlayStation Network, Nintendo Eshop. Major participating companies are Activision Blizzard, Bandai Namco, Capcom, Codemasters, Electronic Arts, Embracer Group (including Gearbox, Koch Media, Sabre Interactive), Focus Entertainment, Kepler, Konami, Marvellous Games, Microids, Microsoft (including Bethesda), Milestone, Nacon, Paradox Interactive, Quantic Dream, Sega, Sony, Square Enix, Take-Two, Ubisoft and Warner Bros. Nintendo and 505 Games are the notable absentees, alongside smaller studios.