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Commonwealth Games 2002

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Monday, 4 June, 2001, 12:28 GMT 13:28 UK
Sales of computer games rising
A row of Playstation games on the shelves at Electronics Boutique
The price of computer games is falling steadily
New figures show that sales of computer games are rising as prices fall.

British gamers bought 10.3 million games in the first three months of this year, an increase of 24% on the same period last year.

Games buyers ignored more expensive new releases in favour of cheaper games, many of which have been available for some time.

The European Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA) said it is only a 5.2% increase in sales revenue, to 218.7m, and is due to a significant fall in the price of discs and cartridges.


Sony has a large range of low price games for its Playstation console, under the platinum label. These games cost between 9.99 and 19.99 as opposed to between 29.99 and 39.99 for new releases.

Sega's Dreamcast console, which recently ceased production, is now host to a range of cut-price software as shops attempt to rid themselves of obsolete stock.

According to ELSPA, the widening gap between sales volume and revenue showed the ever-increasing popularity of games while also highlighting the competitive nature of the UK market.

Console games, such as those for Sony's PlayStation, remained the largest market sector. More than six million console games were sold in the first three months of this year.

Sony Playstation
Consoles such as Sony's Playstation still command a large sector of the software market
Value for money

But the value of those sales was up just 11.8% at 137m. Meanwhile, the overall volume of PC games increased by 9.9% to 3.9m units, although the actual value of sales fell by 4.5% to 81.6m.

ELSPA said the shortfall was explained by increasing numbers of gamers opting for low-cost budget titles.

Roger Bennett, ELSPA director general, said lower prices reward discerning gamers, while the enduring popularity of gaming shows no sign of abating.

"The original wave of teenage gamers from the 1980s now have children of their own and pass on their enthusiasm," said Bennett.

See also:

24 May 01 | Business
Nintendo profits fall 42%
17 Apr 01 | New Media
Computer games enjoy baby boom
08 Jan 01 | Business
Toys and games firms' festive cheer
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