Consumers in the U.S. spend around $4.5 to $4.75 billion on used games, rentals, subscriptions, digital download games, downloadable content, and mobile apps in 2009, according to research firm The NPD Group.
That amount, which is concentrated among downloadable content (e.g. map packs) and games purchased through digital distribution services, helped bring the total amount U.S. consumers spent on video games last year to $15.0 to $15.25 billion.
The other $10.5 million in that total comes from consumers buying physical game copies. The firm makes sure to point out that these released estimates do not include the amount consumers have spent on social gaming.
NPD developed these estimates though data from its physical point-of-sale tracking, consumer research (Games Acquisition Monitor, Video Game & PC Game Subscriptions Tracker, and Consumer Purchase Tracker), and figures provided by NPD retail and its publisher partners.
"Our expanded estimate of consumer spending reflects the growing number of options to purchase, acquire and interact with video games ranging from GameFly rentals to iPod Touch game apps," says NPD analyst Anita Frazier. "Consumer spending on social network games like those offered by Facebook would push this estimate even higher."