Sales of games software in Europe is booming, according to a recent report.
Western Europe?s leisure software will grow by $2 billion to reach $6.44 billion this year, outstripping the video and cinema business, suggests research by the European Leisure Software Producers Association, in conjunction with 'Screen Digest Magazine'.
The report, however, forecasts that the growth will slow down next year and decline in 2000. This, however, is not a picture of gloom as the industry is expected to revive after the release of Sega?s Dreamcast system and as Sony rolls out the Playstation?s successor.
Video and computer games have been one of the fastest expanding consumer product areas in western Europe, thanks to the success of Sony Playstation, Nintendo 64 and PC CD-Rom games.
Sony?s Playstation is expected to remain the market leader this year, selling 10.38 million consoles, up from 7.13 million in 1997. Nintendo 64 is expected to sell 3.16 million with Sega shifting 100,000 Saturn consoles this year.
Software sales are forecast to peak at $6.78 billion in 1999 when the console sector will be worth $3.47 billion and the PC games market $3.32 billion. This is predicted to contract to $6.44 billion in 2000, but will jump again when Sega and Sony introduce their next generation consoles.
Another area of expansion is expected to be digital versatile disk (DVD), with drives being installed in PCs instead of CD-Rom. DVDs boast nine times more capacity than CD-Roms, so enable games developers to create far more complex and faster games.
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