Handhelds to the rescue as UK games sales hit GBP 1.36bn

ELSPA's figures show a seven per cent increase in unit sales year-on-year, with 65.1 million units sold in total and an increase of over one per cent compared to 2005’s end-of-year figures.

PSP and DS were highlighted as having a particularly strong year, meanwhile PC games had their best year ever, with a seven per cent rise in sales when compared to 2005.

PS2 software proved to be most popular, but with DS and PSP software coming close in second and third respectively, 2006 proved to be the year of the handheld, with DS and PSP topping the hardware sales charts too. In terms of software sales, Xbox 360 games came fourth, with Xbox, Wii and GameCube titles following respectively.

ELSPA also named the top selling games for 2006, which are as follows:

1. FIFA 2007 (EA)
2. Pro Evolution Soccer 6 (Konami)
3. Need For Speed: Carbon (EA)
4. Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories (Rockstar/Take 2)
5. LEGO Star Wars 2 (Lucas/Activision)
6. Sims 2: Pets (EA)
7. Cars (THQ)
8. Tomb Raider: Legend (Eidos)
9. Sims 2 (EA)
10. WWE Smackdown v Raw 2007 (THQ)

“We are thrilled to see the industry growing and software sales continuing to rise,” said director general of ELSPA 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.”

- For a full analysis and even more vital statistics from 2006, read the full report in tomorrow's MCV

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