European figures are equally impressive, totalling $959 million.
US consumers $1.38 billion spent on digital game content in the first quarter of 2012.
On top of the $1.5 billion spent on new physical video and PC game software, The NPD Group has found that US consumers spent a further $1.38billion on digital content.
This includes full games and add-ons, subscriptions, mobile games and social network games.
Anita Frazier (pictured), industry analyst at The NPD Group, said: “The declines in the physical market for new physical software are well documented…. While the growth in digital format sales does not yet offset the declines in physical format sales, clearly the changes occurring within the industry are reflected in the trends we are seeing in the research."
Similar research in the UK, France and Germany shows that digital format sales in those three countries generated an additional $959 million in sales during Q1 2012. Outside of new physical retail, sales totalled $300m.
Frazier said: “Relative to the spend in the US, we find that the consumer spend on mobile games is still developing in the three European countries we are covering, while the spend on full game and add-on content digital downloads and subscriptions is more highly developed.”
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