Independent market research group GfK has released statistics that show Australians spent AUS $1.3 billion ($1.15 billion) on video game hardware and software in 2007, marking a 43 percent increase over 2006 and setting a new record for the games industry in Australia.
According to Australian newspaper The Age, which published
the researchers' figures, Australians purchased 15.4 million games in 2007, with 6 million of those purchased in the final three months of the year.
Sales grew 43 percent in 2007 -- contrasted with only 7 percent growth from 2005 to 2006, thanks to the release of new consoles and an increase in the average age of Australian players.
Interactive Entertainment Association of Australia CEO Ron Curry told The Age that console sales reached AUS$500 million (US$440 million) -- nearly double the AUS$270 million in 2006. Handheld consoles are also newly popular, with 2.3 million DS systems sold in 2007 versus 840,000 in 2006.
According to The Age, PS2 was the highest selling console in Australia in 2007, while Microsoft has sold 306,000 Xbox 360 consoles in Australia and over two million 360 games. Nintendo's DS handheld was the overall biggest seller, driven by the success of games like Brain Training, Nintendogs, Zelda: Phantom Hourglass
and Pokemon Diamond/Pearl
Says Curry, "With a wide variety of games available, interactive entertainment is attracting people from all ages and all walks of life. It is interesting to note that as more Australians embrace the most advanced gaming innovations and purchase the latest games, the average age of gamers has risen to 28 years old."