Spending on video games in the U.S. jumped to a new April record as locked-down consumers sought refuge in play, industry figures released Friday showed, the Agence France Presse (AFP) reported on May 23, 2020.

A total of $1.5 billion was spent on video game hardware, software, accessories and game cards, eclipsing a previous April high of $1.2 billion spent in the U.S. in 2008, according to analyst Mat Piscatella.

April was the first full month of tight restrictions on people's movements in the U.S. to prevent the spread of the deadly novel coronavirus. Sales of video game software alone climbed 55 percent to $662 million, a new record high for the month, according to Piscatella.

U.S. spending on video game hardware more than doubled to $420 million, the highest April total since 2008 and despite the fact that new PlayStation and Xbox consoles are due for release later this year. Nintendo Switch was the most popular console among buyers, AFP said. #coronavirusimpact