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Chart-Track: UK hardware revenue down 32%

And software loses 10%, but 360 and PS3 enjoy strong game sales

UK console hardware revenue in the first half of 2010 have dropped by 32 per cent from last year, equating to a loss of £122 million.

Figures released by Chart-Track and ELSPA reveal that the handheld market is feeling the most pain, with portables dropping by 40 per cent but home consoles doing a little less badly at 29 per cent.

The outlook is rather more optimistic for software sales. Although overall revenue dropped by 10 per cent, much of this was due to an 83 per cent decline in earnings from PlayStation 2 sales.

Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 saw game revenues jump by 18 and 27 per cent respectively, thanks to minor increases in their average software prices.

The Wii was less robust, with revenues slumping by 21 per cent and ASP ducking from £22.29 to £19.82.

According to Chart-Track, 2010's "entertainment software market has so far proved challenging, especially in the hand-held arena and for Nintendo Wii. The first half of 2010 has been packed full of new releases, but customers are mindful of current economic conditions and are also spreading cash over a wider entertainment software product field than ever before (iPhone/iPad/Facebook/MMO's/PSN/XBLA/WiiWare/Steam/Browser Gaming)."

Again, the portables sector was suffering, with DS and PSP revenues down and 36 and 32 per cent respectively. Chart-Track stated that the "hand-held market is in need of re-invigoration. DS (all variants) has an installed base of over 11m, which means that the target market is saturated."

H110 console H110 console hardware hand-held market is in need of re-invigoration. DS (all variants) has an installed base of over 11m, which means that the target market is saturated. H110 console static systems: Nintendo's Wii peaked in 2008 (40% of the current installed user base was built in that year), Microsoft's Xbox360 will be looking for Kinect to boost the market and Sony's

PC software revenues was down 28 per cent from the first half of 2009, but Chart-Track claimed this was due to last year's strong sales of the Sims 3.

Overall, the market's revenues dropped by 16 per cent, with total revenue for weeks 1 to 26 of 2010 raising £963 million against £1143 for the same period in 2009.

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Alec Meer

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A 10-year veteran of scribbling about video games, Alec primarily writes for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, but given any opportunity he will escape his keyboard and mouse ghetto to write about any and all formats.

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