The UK video games market rose to an all-time high value of £4.034 billion ($6.071bn) in 2008, according to new data revealed by the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association and GFK Chart-Track.
The figure, which includes sales of all video game software and hardware, means that the UK market has more than doubled in the last five years. Software revenues alone have seen an increase of 23 percent on the previous year to £1.905 billion ($2.866bn), while total unit sales hit a new high of 82.8 million units.
According to the independent GFK Chart-Track data, Nintendo took the biggest slice of the market with software sales of almost 40 million units. Wii game sales were up 153 percent to 20.1 million units, and revenues increase by 112 percent to £481 million ($724m).
Nintendo DS software sales were up 28 percent to 19.1 million units, while revenues increased by 17 percent to £366 million ($551m). Nintendo’s success is particularly impressive given that, before the Wii and DS era, the UK was seen as the company’s weakest major global market.
The Xbox 360 saw an increase in software sales of 51 percent to a total of 14.9 million units, with revenues up by 38 percent to £443 million ($667m).
Due to its delayed European launch in March 2007, 2008 represented the PlayStation 3’s first full year of sales in the UK. As a result, software sales were up 145 percent to 10.4 million units, and revenues increased by 115 percent to £334 million ($503m). No specific data was provided for the PSP, PlayStation 2 or PC platforms.
Little specific data was provided for hardware sales, although overall revenues did increase by 14 percent to £1.422 billion ($2.142bn). Total peripheral sales were up by 82 percent to £549 million ($827m).
"It is also encouraging to see that the popularity of videogames continues to grow year on year," says ELSPA managing director Michael Rawlinson. "More than ever, video gaming 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."