ELSPA and Chart-Track have reported UK software sales of 31.3 million units - with revenue of GPB 738 million - for the first six months of 2008. This represents a 42 per cent increase over the first six months of 2007.
The Wii, Xbox 360, PS3 and Nintendo DS account for GPB 690 million of the total. PC games software revenue, meanwhile, was GBP 48 million - 3.9 million units sold - representing a decline of 29 per cent from the same period of the prior year.
Hardware revenue was up 27 per cent over last year to GPB 513 million thanks to sales of the Wii and DS Lite. 3.1 million units were shifted during the first six months of 2008, compared to 2.2 million in the same period of the prior year.
"Games are now one of the most popular pastimes of the British – hence these remarkable figures," said Paul Jackson, director general of ELSPA.
"Our gamers are more mature than those of most countries – the average age of a player here is now 33 – and as our core gamers have grown up, so too have the revenues they bring in. Games are also proving themselves to be robustly recession-proof.
"Other retailers in the High Street have been struggling this year, but those selling games are not having such a tough time."
Jackson said that one in three games sold across the EU is developed in Britain, noting that the challenge is to ensure that Britain has the home-grown talent to ensure it will still be leading the way five years down the road.