Christmas is always a good time for computer game sales, but retailers reaped more than their usual share of seasonal cheer in December as shipments skyrocketed.
The market grew a whopping 137 per cent on November figures and 94 per cent on that of December 1999, according to the latest figures from market analyst Inform.
Consoles remain the defining factor of the market - growth in console games sales are up 215 per cent on last year. Sales are being buoyed by Sony's much-anticipated PlayStation 2 release. PS2 games accounted for 4.6 per cent of the market in the console's first full sales month.
In contrast, sales in PC games remained relatively steady; climbing just 5 per cent on last year's figures. However retailers should be wary of ruling out the PC as a games machine, Inform analyst Phil Burnham said. He attributes three main factors to the PC's lacklustre performance - piracy, high hardware costs and the introduction of 128-bit games consoles. The PC's online gaming ability remains way ahead of its console competition, he said.
For each new console purchased during December, consumers bought approximately 1.56 games. And despite the PS2 game hype, the market for Sony's original offering remains as strong as ever. PS1 games sales beat out its PC counterparts for the first time ever as consumers made the most of a host of budget titles released for the console.