DS and 360 star in record-breaking 2007

A handheld sector spearheaded by DS and a home console market led by Xbox 360 have pushed 2007 software sales to unprecedented heights, MCV can reveal.

Full year figures courtesy of ELSPA and ChartTrack reveal another spectacular year of game sales and a significant boost in market value.

Total software unit sales in the UK grew 16 per cent this year to a best ever 75.9 million, while in value terms the industry reached an all-time high of £1.72 billion.

And the industry has DS and Xbox 360 to thank most for 2007’s performance at retail, according to ChartTrack director Dorian Bloch. “The high points have been Xbox 360, which was the clear winner in the home console market,” he told MCV. “The really big area of growth is console handheld, which in terms of units and value has hit an all-time high. DS has really been a star performer – handheld took nearly a third of the market in unit terms and almost a quarter in value.”

Despite having only been released in late September, EA’s FIFA 08 was the biggest selling title of 2007, followed by Nintendo’s consistently outstanding Brain Training – a superb achievement for a single format game.

Electronic Arts retained its position at the top of the publisher league tables in 2007 but saw far stiffer competition than in 2006. Climbing the league table significantly this year were Nintendo and Microsoft, which both made significant progress in market share.

Publisher trade body ELSPA stated that its members certainly have reasons to be cheerful after 2007’s record results. “We are thrilled to see the industry growing and software sales continuing to rise,” said director general Paul Jackson. “With the new generation consoles and new handhelds there are some amazing titles out there and consumers are continuing to enjoy them.

“There are new and exciting games available and more and more family-orientated and mentally stimulating titles to grasp and hold the interest of all ages. This is also a testament to the industry and it will continue to gain momentum.”

While the PC market topped the format breakdown in unit terms, it was the only market highlighted by ChartTrack to have struggled over the last 12 months. “PC games haven’t performed quite so well,” added ChartTrack’s Bloch. “PC games is a key area that has seen market value decrease in the current generation.”

- Click here to see the UK market’s vital statistics for 2007 in full, courtesy of ELSPA/ChartTrack

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