Nintendo leads UK gaming growth

Thirty percent fewer PC games sold at retail in 2008 than 2007, but massive console growth offsets setback.

Despite the bleak outlook for some in the games industry, UK retail-trade body the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) has announced record sales of 485.8 million games, DVDs, and music combined for 2008, representing an overall unit growth of 4 percent year-on-year.

Spearheading this growth has been video games, which saw sales shoot up 17 percent to 82.8 million units, despite PC game sales dropping from 12.2 million to 8.5 million units. This growth was "led by the huge success of Nintendo's Wii platform," according to the ERA, though Microsoft and Sony have also reported excellent trading, with the Xbox 360's sales recently doubling in Europe, and the PS3 seeing a 40 percent increase during 2008.

Despite excellent growth across consoles, the PC market's 31 percent decline paints a worrisome picture for the platform heading into 2009. It should be noted that these figures encompass only physical copies of games as they are sold, and do not include sales through download services such as Steam or sales direct from publishers.

The wider retail picture was also rosier than some had feared. In addition to record games sales, there was growth in both music and video, with Blu-ray sales recording a 358 percent increase, to 3.7 million units, compared to DVD sales, which rose by 1.9 percent to 253 million. Music growth was led by the single, which was up 33 percent from last year to 115.1 million units, mostly from digital downloads that accounted for 95.8 percent of single sales. Album sales also reported unexpected growth in the final months of the year, again thanks to the boost from increased uptake of online services.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Did you enjoy this article?

Sign In to Upvote

markypants

Mark Walton

Mark is a senior staff writer based out of the UK, the home of heavy metal and superior chocolate.
67 comments
snarevandamm
snarevandamm

in the UK, if you go into any high street shop at the moment, the gaming section is pumped full of console gear, and a very small section dedicated to PC. based on that, its not surprising that PC gaming has declined in the retail sector. i plan to buy a PS3 in march time, but just because i'm waiting for the price drop....lol

xdeiri
xdeiri

blackdreamhunk its time to wake up dude

blackdreamhunk
blackdreamhunk

Crysis and crysis warhead a pc game has put all fps shooter console shooters to shame EA and EA's share holders notice pc gaming and mmo's and under stand why pc gaming is important The ression push back sony and micr soft consoles and has made the wii king The best game on the is the world of goo a pc game. Runescape a pc game is more popluar than Hollywood,britney spears and jisscia abla MMO's are shing brighter than any console. actviion blizzard has become the must important company in gaming in a time of ression wow a pc game is holding the company up high The hotest games are web based kids pc games in a time of ression Indie pc gaming devs and mod game devs are finaly starting to be noticed. People are starting to under stand that pc gaming is world wide and govermente and big business are starting to notice. some people may say that 2008 is not the year of pc gaming. But the thing is 2008 is the year of pc gaming. I bet 2009 will be too. here is why Console game companies are going bankuprt and it be the pc gaming mods and indie game devs time to shine. PC MMO's will be become more important to big software companies in times of resssion Pc mulitplayer and online pc games will shime in a time of resssion

Valen_Ca
Valen_Ca

So the PC's 31 percent decline at retail is an issue? How so? I have been under the impression that most PC games were purchased through services like Steam now anyways and last I heard digital distro services don't count as retail.

tyzwain
tyzwain

How can anyone slate a console? Get a grip, its not macho to support all-american 360s, to bum the ps3 or even to say the Wii is taking over. A console is a console, if you really loved the NES then whats changed? You can play SSBB with a c!assic controller. Stick to playing games, and play what you wanna play. No-ones gunna change their mind because someone thinks your a geek for owning a wii.

alsha3er78
alsha3er78

I still don't have the wii yet. I have both the ps3 and the 360, and I can't find many games on the wii that would make me go and buy the system like I did with the gamecube (resident evil 0). Still, the wii surprised everyone with its success and I'm sure I'll get it sooner or later.

jonny500
jonny500

The problem with PC gaming is that now its almost identical to console gaming, with not as many exclusives as before, most people aren't prepared to take the risk. Nobody I know buys a PC game without knowing that there is a decent chance it won't work on their system, even if they have the specs. That's the problem with having a million different variations of hardware on the market at any one time, and its not made any easier by certain big game shops (you know who you are) refusing to refund PC games. Its not console fanboys or the media killing PC gaming, it's the retailers.

method115
method115

@taddia I've heard numerous complaints from people about game selection. So many people I know regret buying the Wii or never even use it. It's sad but oh well Nintendo is still around because of it so the hard core gamer wins in the end.

Mangafan2
Mangafan2

So you're actually bashing your own intelligence? Nice

YoJim8obaJoe
YoJim8obaJoe

The Wii is a joke,the only console I regretted getting,and I got all the big name consoles since the NES.For every good game that comes out there is 100 terrible games,and when I say good I mean good,not excellant or mind blowing as the Wii has yet to release a game that IMO is worth more than 85% and yes I played no more heroes before you shout that

isaacmj
isaacmj

So the wii keeps as strong as ever. Good

taddia
taddia

gosh... i have to be honest, as a big nintendo fan i am, it's hard to see how Nintendo Wii's game library is so poor... I think this console still has so much potential, but noone is willing to use it... The sales are pushed higher and higher by the casuel buyer, attracted by the unusual control method... But i have a lot of friend being let down of the games they can play on wii, and they r regretting now they've got this console.. It's a paradoxal situation, in my opinion.

NND1
NND1

Dudes I had a "wii" it is ok for certain games like No More Heroes , Mario , smash bros. and maybe a few more but I promise you my friends the system is mostly crap games with the exception of a few good games.. Get the came out of your eye the Wii is mostly a CrapWare System with faulty controls on most of the games.. If you call them that...

YoungFang
YoungFang

IMO In regards to the PC there were plenty of good games that came out in 2008 that I wanted. But with some poor buggy conversions, online activations and DRM and securom that pretty much prevented me from getting any of them. Perhaps companies releasing PC games should treat their potential customers better as, despite it not taking into account digital based purchases, a 31% drop is massive.

blackdreamhunk
blackdreamhunk

franky pc gaming is the backbone of the pc industry and gaming. If you have no one left or very little amounts of people buying hardware. I can't see companies like amd who is doing not well right now lasting very long time.

blackdreamhunk
blackdreamhunk

It's the media and console fanboys who want pc gaming to die. look at all the headlines and games devs attacking pc gaming. I read alot of Pc gaming is dead! How about all the drm joke.

blackdreamhunk
blackdreamhunk

Have any of you have been reading up on hardware news lately!

blackdreamhunk
blackdreamhunk

guys like me who read into facts, I would say it's console fanboys and media who is grim!

xdeiri
xdeiri

blackdreamhunk you bankruptcy fanboy. dont be so grim its people like you who make life more difficult.. go see a doctor or something you sick

xdeiri
xdeiri

the amazing sales of Nintendo tn this recession time is just unbelievable

xdeiri
xdeiri

wii bullchit a new mega hit party game coming soon

Pices
Pices

Fandango Letho Please don't make me list a bunch of hardcore games on the wii

ceetizzy
ceetizzy

A lot of people DL pirated versions of PC games, no doubt that that is one reason for the decline, not to mention digital downloads. I've recently made the switch back to console gaming from PC gaming.

RetroGamer34233
RetroGamer34233

All these people dogging the Wii - It makes them all sound jealous their precious consoles aren't selling as well.

JamesHS
JamesHS

Do pc games sales include online store sales as well though? Most people I know order them from amazon/play etc as it can be £5-10 cheaper then in the shops.

Inconnux
Inconnux

*** I don't know a single person who can say he's or she's content with ONLY a wii as a console. *** I ONLY have a Wii as a console and I am completely happy with it... favorite console of all three and Ive been a hardcore gamer since the old Pong machines. the MAIN reason why I don't have a PS3 or a 360 is the controller for those systems. dual analog is Crap for FPS and RTS. The Mouse/keyboard systems is 10x better. Ever wonder why there aren't more pc/console games played together online??? cause the Mouse/Keyboard completely dominates as a controller. The Wii is dominating and the so called 'hardcore' gamers only play your system... yeah right... real hardcore gamers have decent PC's :p

Expo_Smacko
Expo_Smacko

PC gaming is still strong. There will always be both.

blackdreamhunk
blackdreamhunk

I was just reading that amd shares just fell, they are on the brink of bankuptcy

runstalker
runstalker

What an alarmist. Gather up the PC game sales figures of major MMOs, Steam, Pulse, GoG, Direct2Drive etc. and add that total to the retail sales. You'll find a healthy industry comfortably riding the digital download transition. You can pick up an excellent card like a GeForce GTX 260 for under two bills - it will run anything well, and amazing Intel dual cores are incredibly cheap. 1200p monitors are dirt cheap too. Great time to build a gaming PC.

blackdreamhunk
blackdreamhunk

I wonder which company will go bankurpt first my i think amd then invidia

blackdreamhunk
blackdreamhunk

No one to buy the high end ram, cpu's and gpu's. I guess the media may finaly get what it wants. No wonder all you find are reahsed games and repeats.

blackdreamhunk
blackdreamhunk

If pc gaming die you can expect pc industary to start dieing. You can also expect gaming it self to start dying. I wonder which hardware company will go out of business first?

runstalker
runstalker

"It should be noted that these figures encompass only physical copies of games as they are sold, and do not include sales through download services such as Steam..." Exactly. PC games do big business via download sales these days, since it's a perfect match for the platform. Likely making up for that 31% retail decline.

hatieshorrer
hatieshorrer

Im not surprised I tried to make the move from console gamer to PC gamer seven years ago I couldnt believe what a mess it is Processors, Ram, and Graphics cards all to make sure you can run the game before buying it and then you could run into the problem of the game becoming so out dated that you have to track down an ancent operating system just to run it and go through the trouble of uninstalling everything on your PC and reinstalling both operating systems on different partitions just to run all the games you want. Ten games, Seven years, and Three PC's later I couldnt careless even when I hear of a PC game I want I think of all the time and trouble Id have to go through and lose interest.

MC_Raptor
MC_Raptor

@ alsha3er78 it is funny though... @fandango, i agree, its a wavvy stick with games, good though! but not a true gaming console. PS3 and 360 if u wanna play games properly!

Fandango_Letho
Fandango_Letho

alsha3er78 : The wii is a family/casual gamer console. That is why it sells a lot. It also promises amazing motion controls, and yet, they fail. They're just pre-registered patherns that doesnt follow your every movement like they've shown. Non-gamers get caught by this crap and thinks that wii sport is just '' the future ''. I don't know a single person who can say he's or she's content with ONLY a wii as a console.

chaos20
chaos20

Its hard to sell PC games when the stores keep cutting down the space for them, GAME had about 4 shelves for pc games 2 years ago, now its dropped to one

alsha3er78
alsha3er78

remember when people made fun of the name "wii"? not many are laughing now.

jrabbit99
jrabbit99

it's always good to see the industry flourish!

blackdreamhunk
blackdreamhunk

by the way this means less money for amd,intel and invedia they don't make money on old hardware. AMD is like sinking so is Invidia I wonder why? lets see who goes bankuprt first

thesamasauris
thesamasauris

thats too bad. PC had one of it's best years ever for games, and it still lost 30%. i love PC and it sucks that it's losing so many game sales. as long as publishers still feel a point to put out games for it, it's still good though

mindtrick
mindtrick

I'm curious to know which Wii software titles are popular for the Wii in the UK. I'm sure that FIFA and PES are up there

cspowered
cspowered

*sigh* Reading the comments in Gamespot is like a bad addiction: you know you don't want to do it, you can't stop doing it, and you feel sorry after you did it.

slyfoxmccloud
slyfoxmccloud

@ the real VIP: I just wanted to be in this Convo..lol But you are right but when dvd started it was way to primative to even be cosidered the format for anything at the time.....and now blu-ray just doesn't seem to advance and by the time blu-ray gets the chance to stick they are gonna come up with something new anyway and HD DVD and Blu-ray cam out so close together I wouldn't be surprised if they had an interactive hologram stuff away in some researchers closet somewhere....so all in all....all three of you are right, but Blu-ray just isn't the future... and @ rgame1: PC is to the game industry as Nascar is to the car industry. NASCAR might be the dumbest looking thing in the world but many advancements in car tecnology ha been made out there on that track....same goes for the PC...I mean just look at your console and judging from the comment you made ou must own an Xbox360...it looks like Cpu ( I mean it is butyou get the picture) and if you own a PS3 hell its just like a pc cause it does everything but play games ( not completley true close enought) but what I'm saying is none of these could be developed without a pc.....or a mac....it just wouldn't happen

larryb007
larryb007

@vip blu-ray will come on top but it will take at least 3 more years to make a big dent

Cdscottie
Cdscottie

Yes "Retail" is declining. How about we start adding in digital distribution and subscriptions from MMOs. Hell, consoles get to add in hardware sales so why not toss in hardware sales for the PC platform?

icym
icym

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]