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UK Gamers shifting to dedicated devices?

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Videogame sales in the UK will eclipse the combined value of music and video purchases in the UK this year for the first time ever, despite plummeting demand for PC titles.

Verdict Research said that, by the end of 2008, UK gamers will have splashed out a credit crunch-defying £4.6bn ($7.2bn/€5.7bn) on gaming kit, including consoles, accessories and games. Sales will be up 42 per cent on the total spent in 2007, Verdict said.

But sales of music and video in the UK will still be strong, Verdict predicted, with an end-of-year forecast of £4.4bn ($7bn/€5.4bn).

According to fellow market watcher Chart Track, console game sales alone were worth £1.7bn ($2.7bn/€2.1bn) last year in the UK. Music sales were worth £1.4bn ($2.2bn/€1.7bn) and video sales £2.2bn ($3.5bn/€2.7bn).

However, Dorian Bloch, director of UK sales at Chart Track, told Register Hardware today that Verdict's prediction is too high. "Sales of over £4bn is likely," he forecast, "but I don't think the figure will rise above £4.6bn."

He noted that although the gaming industry expects Q4 sales in the UK to be the "best ever", sales of PC games have dropped dramatically.

Chart Track's figures show that, between 1998 and 2004, PC game sales averaged £200m ($320m/€247m) in the UK. But he said last year they were roughly £150m, and that this year's figures will be "way down" on the 2007 total.

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