PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch game news is huge boost to UK video game economy (Pic: Daily Star)

THE video games market in Britain is now worth a whopping £5.7billion – up 10% in a year.

Ukie, the trade body for the UK's games and interactive entertainment industry, has revealed mammoth sales of consoles and games across the country.

And figures show the gaming sector is booming right now as developers and machine makers prepare for the next generation systems in the PS5, Next Xbox and Google Stadia.

This week, at Games Impact Summit part of the London Games Festival Hub conference Ukie revealed the value of the UK consumer games market. The London Games Festival – which is taking place across the capital until 14th April– is a joint initiative between Ukie, Film London, and Games London, and supported by the Mayor of London.

The latest 2018 figures saw solid growth across the game software and hardware markets, with software revenues eclipsing £4bn for the first time, up +10.3% to £4.01bn.

Game hardware saw similar growth, up +10.7% to a new high of £1.57bn.

The valuation also included an analysis of consumer spend on wider game-related culture like T-shirt merchandise, which generated an additional £109.6m.

In the software market, data from IHS Markit showed a significant increase in digital downloads and online revenues, up +20.3% to a record £2.01bn.

While this figure includes full game downloads, DLC and in-game transactions, the success in 2018 of online-only games like PlayerUnknowns Battlegrounds and Fortnite have helped push this segment up to encompass 50% of all UK software revenues.

Further analysis from IHS Markit showed a buoyant mobile market, with +8.2% uplift to £1.17bn.

After 2017s slight uplift in boxed software, 2018s physical revenues remained fairly steady, dropping just -2.6% to £770m according to data provided by GfK Entertainment. However, the impact of the expanding digital free-to-play market contributed to a downturn in sales of pre-owned games, dropping -30.8% to £67.9m, data from Kantar Worldpanel showed.

Game hardware continued to be a core driver of consumer spend in 2018, with sales of games consoles enjoying an uplift of +6.5% to £702m, despite no new consoles being launched in the period, data from GfK showed.

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PC Game Hardware saw another strong year, increasing +18.4% to £445m and the peripherals and accessories market similarly grew +19.9% to £355m, showing that UK consumers have a keen demand for the latest technology in their game set-ups.

The VR hardware market saw a more difficult year according to IHS Markits analysis, dropping -20.9% to £72m as early adopters await the next generation of headsets, away from the likes of PlayStation VR.

With game-related toys and merchandise representing the largest part of the overall game culture valuation, the closure of Toys-R-Us in 2018 has a significant impact on the valuation, with sales down -23.7% to £59.3m.

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