Of the $3.4 billion the NPD estimates was spent on gaming in the first quarter of 2012, new retail purchases accounted for just $1.5 billion.
The report claims US consumers devoted $525 million on other physical spending – used and rental – and $1.38 billion in digital content, which it defines as “full game and add-on content downloads, subscriptions, mobile games and social network games”.
“A broader view of the games industry shows that other physical content sales (the combination of used and rental) declined by just five percent and digital format content sales grew by 10% as compared to Q1 2011,” the NPD’s Anita Frazier remarked in a statement.
Frazier noted that increased digital sales do not yet offset for the decline in new physical sales.
Outside the US, the NPd Group estimates gamers spent $300 billion on used and rental in the UK, France and Germany. Digital sales in these three territories is around $959 million.
Frazier noted that European gamers seem less keen on mobile content but drop more cash on full downloadable games, DLC and subscriptions.
The NPD Group released its Online Gaming Report late last week.