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Australian Games Industry Passes $1 Billion Mark

According to a new report, analysts in Australia have found that games revenues in the country have risen 15 percent from 2006 and surpassed $1 billion for the first time, eclipsing box office takings and encroaching on the DVD market.
According to a new report in the Sydney Morning Herald, total games industry revenues in Australia have surpassed $1 billion for the first time -- almost $200 million more than cinema box office earnings. Bolstered by the release of Playstation 3 in March and Nintendo Wii in December, GfK Australia games analyst Daniel Morse also adds that sales of Xbox 360 and Nintendo DS, launched in the previous fiscal year, have "really hit their stride," positioning the games industry in Australia to plausibly overtake the DVD movie business if the trend continues -- though Morse was reluctant to estimate a date by which this could occur. GfK Australia compiled the figures, which cover sales of game discs, consoles and peripherals, based on data from major retailers. It found that total games industry revenues in the year to June 30, 2006 were $1.03 billion -- a 15% increase over the previous year. 40% of the total sales were attributed to hardware, and 60% to software. For the same period, DVD movie sales were down 14 per cent to $1.29 billion, while, according to the Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia, cinema box office revenues increased slightly to $863,295. The Australian book industry, however, worth about $1.86 billion and increasing since 2001 (according to research firm IBISWorld) does not seem to be affected. According to the Interactive Entertainment Association of Australia (IEAA), over 5.5 million games and almost half a million consoles had been since January 1. The IEAA also reported some demographics: 41% of Australian gamers are female and 8% are seniors. "The stereotype of gaming as a children's pursuit is simply wrong, with the average gamer age in Australia at 28," said IEAA chief executive Chris Hanlon.

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