According to a survey from research firm comScore Networks, the game business has received a significant boost from late holiday online spending, with both games and console hardware online sales boosted by over 50% compared to last year.
The company revealed that during the first 50 days of the holiday season ending Wednesday, December 20, total online retail spending reached $21.68 billion, marking a 26 percent increase versus the corresponding days in 2005.
However, comScore broke this down further, revealing that video game hardware and software were two of the top five categories in which online retail sales surged. Video game console sales were up 54% compared to the previous year online, and boxed video game sales themselves surged up 65% online compared to 2005.
In fact, only jewelry and watches had a greater increase compared to 2005 in online ordering, and comScore also identified that the Christmas ordering season is getting later online: "Late-season online shoppers spent more than $1.5 billion in the first three days of the final work-week before Christmas (December 18 - December 20), up 35 percent versus the corresponding days last year," said Gian Fulgoni, chairman of comScore Networks.
Fulgoni continued: "In past years, online spending slowed significantly well before Christmas, but this year, spending has accelerated up until the final days of the holiday season. The surge in late season online buying appears to be the result of retailers' shipping guarantees, coupled with consumers' willingness to pay for expedited shipping and their confidence that their purchases will arrive on time."
This announcement comes following Amazon's discussion of a record holiday season
, with more than 4 million items being sold on December 11th, the firm's busiest day of the year, and Nintendo's DS Lite topping its game hardware sales.
However, it should be pointed out that at least some of this reported online retail increase simply revolves around consumers switching their buying habits from bricks and mortar stores online, and it doesn't necessarily pertain to a similar increase in physical retail for games and game consoles.