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Growing Digital Sales Driving Retail Games Sales Further Down

Global retail sales of game hardware, software and accessories are expected to continue their steady decline at the hands of the digital channel.

US-based SuperData Research analysts say the category will slip 2.2pc to US$13.1 billion compared to the previous holiday season. They also partially attribute this retail downturn to a relatively weak and homogeneous holiday line-up from major games publishers.

While these figure smight appear dire for the industry, it doesn’t account for mobile apps, digital releases or downloadable content – which are expected to add an additional $22.8 billion in sales.

Analysts are similarly lukewarm in their expectations for both the season’s virtual reality offerings and new 4K-ready consoles from Microsoft and Sony. “They may be coming a holiday too soon for the average gamer,” Mike Hickey at investment bank Benchmark Co. told the Wall Street Journal.

A Telsyte review of the Australian games industry published earlier this year concluded that digital games now have more than half of the market, accounting for 56 percent of sales. But it said physical products in the games market remain important. with consumers indicating a preference for physical copies when purchasing as a gift or as a collectable – heartening perhaps for the retail stores as Christmas approaches.

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