The US spent a staggering $5.9 billion dollars (£3.1 billion) on games in the first quarter of 2011, with a massive rise in the amount being spent on downloadable content and mobile apps.

With £1.2 billion of that total spent on traditional game purchases, NPD's figures suggest that a further £1.16 billion was spent on 'other monetization methods'.

That includes "used games, game rentals, subscriptions, digital full game downloads, social network games, downloadable content, and mobile games," and truly shows the breadth of the gaming world.

Growth

$5.9 billion represents a 1.5 per cent growth on 2010 Q1 figures, in figures published in NPD's well-respected Games Industry: Total Consumer Spend report.

"While the new physical retail channel still generates the majority of industry sales, our expanded research coverage allows us to assess the total consumer spend across the growing number of ways to acquire and experience gaming, including mobile apps and downloadable content," said Anita Frazier, industry analyst, The NPD Group.

"Through a combination of point-of-sale and consumer research tracking, The NPD Group is providing an expanded, more comprehensive measure of a dynamic and rapidly evolving games industry."