U.K. video game sales hit all-time high

Consumers buy 82.8 mil games for $2.86 bil

LONDON -- Sales of video games hit an all-time high in the U.K. last year, with consumers spending 1.91 billion pounds ($2.86 billion) on video game software.

According to research published by The Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA) Wednesday games sales shot up 23% over 2007 to 1.91 billion pounds ($2.86 billion) in 2008 representing unit sales of 82.8 million.

Console sales accounted for another 1.42 billion pounds ($2.13 billion) – with the total market now more than double the size five years ago.

ELSPA research showed that games for the Nintendo Wii made up almost 25% of all software sales, with more than 20 million games sold – a hike of 112% on 2007 levels.

Software for the Nintendo DS also proved popular, selling more than 19.1 million units last year.

Games for Microsoft's Xbox 360 also sold well, with a 51% hike in sales.

Software sales for the Sony PlayStation 3 console rose by 145% -- to 10.4 million units -- more than double the 4.2m games sold in 2007.