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Credit crunch to boost consoles sales, says Microsoft poll

Survey of 1000 people shows more families looking for digital entertainment products as cost cutting keeps them at home

Microsoft has released the results of research that suggests the economic downturn will boost UK sales of home entertainment products, including videogames consoles, as more and more families try to save money by staying in.

Just under half of 1000 people polled in the UK said they were looking for just one gift the family could enjoy as a group, with 42 per cent also saying they planned to buy fewer gifts that were more special.

"Gifts that the whole family can enjoy, and which negate the need for expensive family outings to have fun, are what shoppers are looking for this year," said Ray Martin, YouGov. "42 per cent of those asked want to find gifts that bring the family together, with 72 per cent of them wanting to find presents that 'keep on giving' throughout the year."

Martin Olausson, director of Digital Media Research at Strategy Analytics, added: "In tough economic times, home entertainment products traditionally do well, as consumers tend to want to stay in and save money."

"Gaming and entertainment consoles like the Xbox 360 are seen as good value, given they can entertain the whole household through Christmas and beyond."