The game industry in the PAL region's emerging markets generated €1.9 billion ($2.6 billion) in hardware and software sales during 2009, with a 12 percent year over year increase in software sales.
A new report from Screen Digest that analyzes market opportunities in Greece, India, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Turkey and the Middle East shows those regions grew during a year that saw a 4.4 percent decline in European game sales.
The report says the development of malls and shopping centers that make room for Western retailers contributed to the rise in sales. In Russia and Poland, PC games are still quite popular, Screen Digest finds, though PlayStation 2 and PS3 consoles, Xbox 360 and PSP tend to have the largest install bases.
Sony's long-standing presence in emerging markets means the PlayStation brand is generally dominant, especially in Russia and the Middle East, the report finds. Across all markets, the PlayStation 2 has the highest install base at 11 million -- 10 percent more than in the UK.
Among current generation consoles, however, the PlayStation 3 is selling highest at 1.4 million and PSP is the most popular handheld. But Microsoft is developing its business in Russia, Poland and South Africa in order to better compete, continues Screen Digest.
Nintendo has not yet placed the same level of investment in these regions, the report finds. But the Wii is successful in Greece, South Africa and Turkey, and that has given the company a foothold.