Video games sales nearly doubled in 2007, thanks to huge Christmas demand and a bumper year for Nintendo, to swell by almost 50% over the previous year.
Holiday sales were dominated by the Nintendo DS handheld. The Nintendo Wii sold more units than the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 (PS3), but retailers say 2007 was unique in that all of the games systems on the market performed extremely well.
Market watcher GfK says that total games industry sales hit $1.3 billion in 2007, an increase of 43.6% over 2006.
Ron Curry, CEO of the industry body Interactive Entertainment Association of Australia, said the growth was a record achievement compared with the 7% increase between 2005 and 2006.
He said the growth was partly driven by the fact that 2007 was the first full year of sales for the new console platforms, the Wii, PS3 and Xbox 360. He also noted a major upswing in handheld sales, dominated by the Nintendo DS.
Australians bought 15.4 million games in 2007 but more than a third of those sales were made in the lead-up to the holidays during the final quarter of the year, GfK said