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Family games 'now the most popular in the UK'

Michael French

ELSPA and GfK-ChartTrack have this morning released UK video game sales results for the first half of 2009

And thanks to Nintendo the numbers show that family games and educational titles are currently the most popular genre in the country.

Nintendo’s Wii Fit, Wii Play and Mario Kart Wii titles equate to 72 per cent of the top five in the six months' ‘best sellers’ chart, with combined sales of 1.65m between them since the start of the year.

Total sales of Nintendo’s Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training have surpassed the three million units mark to become the UK’s most popular game ever.

The number of home and portable gaming consoles in the UK now stands at 24m - which ELSPA says is 'around the same number as there are UK households'.

“These figures are clear evidence that gaming is now mainstream in the UK,” commented Michael Rawlinson, director general of ELSPA.

“The demographic has changed, so it’s time we did away with the misperception that videogames are merely the preserve of teenage boys shooting zombies. Innovation in the industry means the social and educational benefits of gaming are now enjoyed by players of both sexes and of all ages.”

ELSPA and Chart-Track said that overall sales in the first half of 2009 were 'good', with the second best set of figures in history - despite a drop, in real terms, of a year-on-year sales dip down to 5.7 per cent. 29.7 million units of software were sold compared to 31.5 million units for the same period in 2008.

'The results remain encouraging for the country’s industry,' said ELSPA in a statement.

Dorian Bloch, Business Group director of GfK Chart-Track, added: “The videogame entertainment markets show that across software, hardware and accessories, the first half of 2009 is a solid platform for retailers, manufacturers and publishers to build momentum into the last quarter of 2009. The widening demographic and the growing trend in physical-motion gaming, means the industry is well positioned to see further growth.”

UPDATE 2:

The original Top Ten was incorrect when previously issued. Here's the correct All Formats one:

1. Wii Fit
2. FIFA 09
3. Call of Duty: World at War
4. Resident Evil 5
5. Wii Play
6. Mario Kart Wii
7. Proffesor Layton
8. Mario & Sonic
9. Street Fighter IV
10. Guitar Hero World Tour

And to be clear, the original Top Ten - which is a ranking for single SKUs...

1. Wii Fit (Wii - Nintendo)
2. Wii Play (Wii - Nintendo)
3. Mario Kart Wii (Wii - Nintendo)
4. Professor Layton And The Curious Village (DS - Nintendo)
5. Killzone 2 (PS3 - Sony)
6. Resident Evil 5 (Xbox 360 - Capcom)
7. Dr Kawashima's Brain Training (DS - Nintendo)
8. The Sims 3 (PC - EA)
9. Call Of Duty: World At War (360 - Activision)
10. Mario & Sonic At The Olympic Games (Wii - Sega)

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Tags: Nintendo , elspa , half-year figures

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