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UK vid games sales soar to £684m

That's just for first nine months of 2002

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Sales of computers games in the UK are up almost 13 per cent so far this year, giving rise to hope that 2002 could be a bumper year for the industry.

Figures released by the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA) reveal that sales of video games in the UK for the first nine months of this year have topped £684m.

With sales of leisure software traditionally going through the roof in the run-up to Christmas, it's predicted that some £463m will be generated in sales in the three months to the end of December, bringing total annual sales in excess of £1bn.

Much of the double-digit growth is being put down to sales generated by new consoles.

Almost one million units of software for Microsoft’s Xbox have been sold since its launch in March of this year, reaching a sales value of £38 million.

Sony's PS2 has notched up almost eight million units of software this year, with a sales value of £256 million, up a massive 166 percent compared to last year.

And Nintendo's GameCube has sold almost one million units valued at £34 million since it was launched in May.

Said Roger Bennett, Director General of ELSPA: "Our industry has already outgrown cinema box office sales and video rental and we can soon expect it to outgrow music software, as the exploitation opportunities for the intellectual property owned by games software publishers expands to access new consumers.

"Already this year we have seen a remarkable increase in the sales of leisure software. Should sales increase throughout the festive rush, as we have seen in previous years, 2002 will be our biggest year ever," he said. ®

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