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UK Retail Video Game Marketshare for 1Q 2013
by Matt Matthews on 04/30/13 09:50:00 am   Expert Blogs   Featured Blogs

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.


As part of my regular writing here at Gamasutra, I try to get as much sales data as I can from around the world. One of the more interesting markets, to me, is the UK where we regularly get a lot of software information including hard figures and weekly sales rankings. The biggest missing piece, regrettably, is hardware -- but even software gives us a window into which platforms are probably selling well.

In the past few weeks, I've put together UK data (reported through MCV UK) on retail software sales for the first quarter of 2013. The story is pretty much encapsulated by the picture below:
As I've come to expect over the past couple of years, the Xbox 360 is completely dominating software sales, with 12 point lead over the PlayStation 3. With a few notable exceptions, games that release on both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 tend to favor the latter.

The strength of the packaged PC market often surprises people. Given that it is still a factor at retail, it is probably extremely strong when other services like Steam and Origin are factored in.

Nintendo's two older platforms, the Wii and Nintendo DS are each still moving more software, on a unit basis, than is the newer Nintendo 3DS. However, when revenue is taken into account, the higher average price for 3DS software puts is well ahead of those platforms individually.

And, even though both the Wii U and PlayStation Vita are struggling in the UK, the PSV did edge out the Wii U by nearly 10,000 units. The picture is reversed, of course, if we count revenue because PSV titles are priced much lower, on average. With an average price £35 per unit sold, revenue from Wii U software was almost precisely a million pounds ahead of PSV software in the first quarter.

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Nooh Ha
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"The strength of the packaged PC market often surprises people. Given that it is still a factor at retail, it is probably extremely strong when other services like Steam and Origin are factored in."

This is because the UK retail market is utterly cut-throat which has led to most new PC games being substantially cheaper to buy in boxed form than via digitial distribution services like Steam where prices are usually close to RRP at launch. A current example is COH2 which is £40 pre-order on Steam and under £30 at some online retail stores. There is a good chance it will be down to £25 or below by launch day.

David Paris
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It gets hard to draw good conclusions from these sorts of numbers without digital distribution included. My impression is that the PC market has actually made a pretty significant upswing lately, but it would be nice to be able to point at the total numbers and say to what amount. Steam & Origin numbers would be a great start, even recognizing that this won't include boatloads of MMO/online F2P figures.
rnI wonder if perhaps the lack of transparency on PC sales gives a very false sense of relevance when it comes to console sales.