the last of us

Rising video games and console prices push up UK inflation as lockdown eases

The UK’s inflation rate has risen to 0.6 per cent, largely aided by a rise in prices for video games and consoles.

The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) increased slightly from the four-year low seen in May of 0.5 per cent, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Food and alcohol prices prices fell, offset by a rise in prices for clothing and games.

The largest upwards contribution (of 0.09 per cent) to the CPIH 12-month inflation rate between May and June 2020 came from recreation and culture, in which prices rose 0.2 per cent overall, compared to a fall of 0.4 per cent in the same period last year.

In this category, much of the upwards contribution came from video games and consoles, which saw prices in this category rising by 1.8 per cent this year, as opposed to last year’s fall of 4.7 per cent.

“Over the year-to-date, price movements for games, toys and hobbies have been less volatile than during the same period last year,” said the ONS. “It is possible that prices have been influenced by the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown changing the timing of demand and the availability of some items, particularly consoles.

“However, it is equally likely to be a result of the computer games in the bestseller charts. Price movements for computer games can often be relatively large depending on the composition of these charts.”

As the ONS says, this is likely caused by a series of high-profile video game releases during this period, in a time where gaming is seeing an overall boost in interest due to the lockdown.

It’s worth noting that Naughty Dog’s highly-anticipated The Last of Us Part II released in the May-June 2020 window, and quickly became Sony’s fastest-selling release this generation – putting a full-priced release at the top of the sales charts. The same period also includes the tail-end of the enormous success Animal Crossing has seen, which surpassed its lifetime sales expectations in May, just two months after the game’s release.

Additionally, as Ukie’s George Osborn pointed out on Twitter, June 2020 was a much busier month in terms of new releases for video games than the same period last year.

 

About Chris Wallace

Chris is MCV/DEVELOP's staff writer, joining the team after graduating from Cardiff University with a Master's degree in Magazine Journalism. He can regrettably be found on Twitter at @wallacec42, where he mostly explores his obsession with the Life is Strange series, for which he refuses to apologise.

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