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Electronics Boutique claims it is entering a "golden era" following record sales of video games and software in the run up to Christmas. Sales in the UK and Ireland increased by 51 per cent in the five weeks to the end of December helped in part by the popularity and strong performance of PlayStation 2. With more than 1.7 million PS2 users in the UK - more than double the user base of the original PlayStation at the same stage in its lifecycle five years ago - coupled with the impending launch of Microsoft's XBox, EB is confident that the future is looking bright. Sales in EB's stores in Spain, France and Sweden also soared 49 per cent in the five weeks to the end December prompting EB to report that "the potential in all our markets is immense". In a statement, Peter Lewis, non-executive chairman, said: "Our strong year-on-year performance became even better in December. The remarkable sales of PlayStation 2 consoles and the coming launch of Microsoft XBox in March will further stimulate our market in the coming year. Since Christmas, demand for video games to meet the needs of the newly installed console base has continued at record levels. A golden era has begun." Related Feature - No more Electronics Boutique