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PC gamer, WorthPlaying EIC, globe-trotting couch potato, patriot, '80s headbanger, movie watcher, music lover, foodie and man in black -- squirrel!

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UK Games Industry Thrives While Japanese Market Tanks

by Rainier on Jan. 7, 2009 @ 3:49 p.m. PST

The UK's ELSPA revealed its annual sales figures, revealing videogame sales hit an all-time high in 2008, with growth of 23 percent on figures for 2007 the market has now more than doubled over the last five years. On the other hand Enterbrain reports that the Japanese videogame market is not doing so well with a decrease of 15% on total sales.

Sales of videogames hit an all-time high in 2008, according to ELSPA (the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association) which today revealed annual sales figures from GFK Chart-Track. Total sales of all videogame software and hardware amounted to £4.034 billion. There was a huge increase in games sales in 2008, with growth of 23 percent on figures for 2007. The market has now more than doubled over the last five years. The increasing popularity of videogames took total sales to £1.905 billion, compared to £1.552 billion in 2007. Hardware sales have been equally spectacular.

Nintendo formats led the way, with software sales of nearly 40 million units in the UK. Nintendo Wii games were up 153 per cent, with 20.1 million units sold last year compared to 7.9 million units in 2007. Revenue from Nintendo Wii software sales also enjoyed a dramatic increase of 112 per cent to £481 million, compared to £227 million in 2007.

The Nintendo DS came through as the star hand-held performer, notching up a record-breaking 19.1 million software sales in the country, compared to 14.9 million in 2007. The leap represents an increase of 28 per cent year on year. Revenue from Nintendo DS videogames sales increased by 17 per cent - from £314 million in 2007 to £366 in 2008.

Sony’s PlayStation 3 console notched up its first full year of videogame sales in 2008. Sales rose 145 per cent, with 10.4 million units sold – more than double the 4.2 million games sold in 2007. The PlayStation 3 saw a 115 per cent rise in revenue and software sales reached £334 million in 2008 compared to £156 million in 2007.

Microsoft Xbox 360 also continued to see growth in sales with a rise of 51 per cent of videogames sold – a total 14.9 million units sold in the UK last year, compared to 9.8 million in 2007. Revenue was also up by 38 per cent, with £443 million in 2008 compared to £320 million in 2007.

The total revenue for the UK’s console hardware sales in 2008 was £1.422 billion - an increase of 14 per cent compared to £1.252 billion in 2007. The total value of console gaming peripherals increased by 82 per cent, with total sales reaching £549 million compared to £301 million in 2007.

Michael Rawlinson, Managing Director of ELSPA, said: “It is also encouraging to see that the popularity of videogames continues to grow year on year. More than ever, videogaming is increasingly bringing families together with the introduction of so many outstanding family-based console titles. These have really opened up the market to those who may never have even considered playing a videogame before.”

Total videogames software sales reached an all-time high in 2008 with 82.8 million units sold all-told in the UK. The total gross generated from the sale of all videogames including hardware and accessories rose 23 per cent to £4.034 billion.

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