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Gaming sales in Australia have passed the $1 billion mark in the last financial year, while DVD movie sales slowed down 14 per cent to $1.29 billion in the same period.

The gaming industry figures which were released the Interactive Entertainment Association of Australia (IEAA) and  compiled by research group GfK Australia, found an overall market increase of 30 percent over the past six months, with over 5.5 million games and almost half a million gaming consoles sold since 1 January this year.

Gaming hardware sales generated almost $150 million in the last six months, and games sales reached almost $264 million in the same period.

“Australians are embracing interactive gaming as a preferred form of entertainment and the industry will continue to grow as the technology, games and equipment become even more sophisticated,” says IEAA CEO, Chris Hanlon.

GfK Australia’s Daniel Morse says the figures put the industry in a good position to break another record again this year.

“All platforms performed extremely well considering the average platform lifecycle, which usually sees hardware sales decline a few years after launch as the market saturates and new technology is released.”

Hanlon also said that gaming is growing beyond the realm of kids or single males.

“Interactive entertainment attracts people from all ages and walks of life who have significant disposable income. The stereotype of gaming as a children’s pursuit is simply wrong, with the average gamer age in Australia at 28,” he said.

The sentiment was echoed last week by Sony Computer Entertainment Managing Director, Michael Ephraim, who said the PlayStation consoles are being increasingly adopted by families as a media hub, rather than kids, with the average PS2 gamer being 26 years old.

Added Hanlon, “Australia is growing in significance in the international gaming industry. There are 40 game development companies across the country, employing some 2,500 people that have produced 240 game titles.”

“By supporting the industry, Australian consumers are feeding the potential of the game creators and technology developers – which will mean cutting edge gaming and a significant contribution to the economy over the years to come,” he said.

IEAA will be announcing next sales figures in January 2008.

 

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