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Videogames outsell DVD and Blu-ray in 2008

Games software market worth $32 billion, while economic downturn takes its toll on packaged media

Retail sales of videogames overtook that of DVD and Blu-ray for the first time, as sales of packaged media grew 6 per cent worldwide to hit USD 61 billion in 2008, according to Media Control GfK International.

Videogame sales grew 20 per cent in 2008, to USD 32 billion, which GfK says was driven by the popularity of Nintendo Wii, while combined DVD and Blu-ray sales fell 6 per cent, to USD 29 billion.

GfK predicts games will grow to represent 57 per cent of packaged media sales in the next 12 months, up from 53 per cent in 2008 and 47 per cent the year before.

Videogame software sales are expected to grow 12 per cent this year, to reach USD 36 billion, as reported by Videobusiness.com. This growth is in comparison to a decline in DVD and Blu-ray expected to be around 4 per cent to USD 27 billion - however Blu-ray itself will more than double to USD 2.9 billion.

The 2008 result is under GfK's mid-year forecast, which had predicted games would grow by 22 per cent, as well as DVD and Blu-ray growing 1 per cent. GfK's US president, Amy Heller, attributed the underperformance to the current economic downturn.

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