17:03 05 November 2008
A huge shift in consumer outlooks has transformed video games into the UK's most popular form of entertainment, a report from Verdict Research has concluded.
UK sales of games are set to peak over music and video for the first time in 2008.
The report estimates that spending on games will rise by an astronomical 42% to 4.64 billion this year with sales on music and video falling behind at 4.46 billion.
Over the last five years the games market has more than doubled in its value while music and film has dwindled somewhat.
It is thought that the state of the economy and the general shift into spending and using entertainment online is primarily responsible.
Malcolm Pinkerton of Verdict Research said: "The music and video market is not just suffering from a slowing of growth but a massive transfer of spend to online."
Online sales of CDs and DVDs have, however, grown rapidly as apposed to digital downloads which still only account for 4% of sales in their respective fields.
Titles such as 'Grand Theft Auto IV' have been huge successes in the gaming world, as has the Nintendo Wii console which is heralded at presenting interactivity at a new level to the consumer and making gaming more of a family-friendly experience.
Pinkerton has also noted how firms such as HMV and Zavvi have changed their store layouts to shift away from music and film.
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However some doubt Verdict Research's figures.
Steve Redmond of the Entertainment Retailers Association stated: "There is no doubt that the games sector is having a fantastic year, but these figures overstate that by including games hardware.
"Our prediction is that games will overtake video by the end of this year, but not music and video combined."
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