Game sales hit all-time high in 2008

Sales of videogames hit an all-time high in the UK last year, with the combined revenue for video game software and hardware adding up to £4.034 billion for 2008.

Sales data from ChartTrack show that this huge figure was helped by a 23% growth in games sales between 2008 and 2007, and that the market has more than doubled in the past five years. Hardware sales were equally impressive.

Nintendo formats led the way, with software sales of nearly 40 million units in the UK. In particular, Nintendo Wii games were up 153%, with 20.1 million units sold last year compared to 7.9 million units in 2007.

The Nintendo DS came through as the top hand-held performer, notching up a record-breaking 19.1 million software sales in the country, compared to 14.9 million in 2007. The leap represents an increase of 28% year on year.

Sony's PS3 and Microsoft's Xbox 360 both also saw rises in the number of video games sold, with the PS3 managing to increase sales by 145% up to 10.4 million units sold.

Microsoft's growth was less impressive, but still reasonable with 51% - upping the units sold from 9.8 million to 14.9 million this year.

In total, £1.095 billion was spent on 82.8 million video games, with console sales in 2008 adding up to a total of £1.422 billion (a 14% increase on last year). To top it off, even gaming peripherals saw an 82% increase, bringing in a revenue of £549 million for this year alone.

Michael Rawlinson, managing director of ELSPA, said: "It is encouraging to see that the popularity of videogames continues to grow year on year.

"More than ever, videogaming is increasingly bringing families together with the introduction of so many outstanding family-based console titles. These have really opened up the market to those who may never have even considered playing a videogame before".