Game hardware and software generated $22 bln in 2008

Computer and video game industry hardware, software and peripheral sales climbed to $22 bln in 2008, with entertainment software sales comprising $11.7 bln of that total figure, a 22.9% jump over 2007, Entertainment Software Association announced. The industry set the new record, calculated by market-research firm NPD Group, on the strength of December 2008 sales, when industry revenue ($5.3 bln) topped $5 bln for the first time in any single month. By comparison, as recently as 1997, the industry generated $5.1 bln over the entire year. In 2008, total US video game console software sales reached $8.9 bln (189.0 mln units), PC game sales hit $701.4 mln (29.1 mln units), and portable software topped 2007’s record sales with $2.1 bln (79.5 mln units) in revenue. Overall, retailers sold approximately 297.6 mln computer and video games 2007.