Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Grand Theft AutoV, an eclectic mix of new and evergreen games, were among the top sellers this past year as most people who were unable to go to the cinema, concerts, sports events or other outdoor activities took to interactive video gaming at home. Sales of video games jumped more than 20% in the first 10 months of this year, according to gaming industry research firm NPD Group. Spending on consoles, which is usually depressed ahead of impending new console releases, soared 23% in the January–October period as consumers around the world spent more time at home during the pandemic.

Over the past two weeks, just in time for the holiday season, Sony Corp and Microsoft Corp released new versions of PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X — their first new consoles in over seven years — which are expected to dramatically boost sales of consoles as well as games in the final two months of the year. Global spending on games software is forecast to top US$175 billion ($234 billion) this year while global console hardware sales are estimated to reach US$45 billion.

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