Emerging PAL markets worth €1.9bn last year
Software sales increase 12% on 2008; PS3 installed base grows to 1.4m
Emerging retail markets in PAL territories were worth €1.9 billion (£1.66bn) in 2009 - with software sales rising 12 per cent on the previous year.
The achievement stands in contrast to the 4.4 per cent decline in games software sales experienced across Western Europe last year, according to Screen Digest, which studied emerging games markets including Greece, India, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Turkey and the Middle-East.
It found that hardware and software sales combined reached €1.9 billion, while software sales increased 12 per cent on 2008 sales totalling €900 million (£790m).
The growth was attributed to the increased presence of shopping centres and malls in these territories, and by an influx of Western retailers, including Media Markt, Auchan and Carrefour.
PC games remained popular, especially in Russia and Poland, and the PlayStation was also found to dominate, thanks to its long-established presence in these markets, particularly in Russia and the Middle East.
Across the emerging PAL markets the PS2 was shown to have the highest installed base at 11 million (10 per cent more than the UK), PS3 was the most popular current generation console with an installed base of 1.4 million, and the PSP was the most widely owned handheld device at 3.1 million.
Microsoft was shown to have gained a foothold in Russia, Poland and South Africa, with its largest installed base built up in Russia.
Nintendo, which hasn't invested into the emerging markets as heavily as its competitors, has still sold over 1.4 million DS consoles across EMEA regions, but only 763,000 Wii consoles.
"With ongoing improvements in games distribution and retail, these emerging markets offer publishers an increasingly realistic commercial opportunity to tap into," commented Piers Harding-Rolls, head of games at Screen Digest.
"Difficulties remain - cost of localisation and piracy are particular challenges - but with careful selection of content and distribution, games sales in these territories can offer useful incremental revenue."