Copyright 2002 | Source Reuters News Agency

[ January 10th 2002 ]

Sales of video games, leisure software products and games consoles in Britain reached an all time high of 1.6 billion pounds in 2001, up 36 percent from a year ago, industry data showed on Thursday. The European Leisure Software Publishers Association, a UK industry body, said 51.2 million units of games hardware and software were sold in the year, up 21 percent, thanks to launches of two new consoles - the Game Cube from Nintendo and the Xbox from Microsoft.

Top Selling games included Who Wants to be a Millionaire and Tomb Raider 4 by Eidos, WWF Smackdown by THQ , Driver 2 by Infogrames and The Sims by Electronic Arts Inc (EA) and Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 by Activision. Also among the favourites was Harry Potter - The Philosopher's Stone by EA, which went Platinum in just five weeks, the fastest seller of the year. The association said the total value of console hardware sales rose by 121 percent, reaching a record high of 567 million pounds on four million consoles sold during the year.

The boom in consoles inevitably fed through to software sales, which were mostly games, with a record 30.5 million units of console software sold worth 711 million pounds, it said. The market for home computer software also fared better than the previous year with the volume sold up 10 percent to 16.7 million units whilst the value of sales remained static at 346 million pounds.

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