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Games to be UK's best seller in 2008

Music and video trounced for first time.

Videogames look poised to become the best-selling form of entertainment in Britain for the first time ever.

That's according to a Verdict Research report (on Reuters), which expects our industry to have grown by around 42 per cent by the end of 2008, totalling around GBP 4.64 billion in sales.

That leaves past masters video and music in second place, with around GBP 4.46 billion each.

However, these figures should be taken with a pinch of salt. Verdict Research points out that music and video sales are being hit particularly hard by the transition from high-street to online, and that they have plenty of digital distribution problems - such as piracy - to iron out.

An Entertainment Retailers Association bloke also explained that while console hardware sales are included in the overall figure, DVD and CD hardware is not.

So the figures may be slightly misleading, but there's no denying the videogames market is on the rise. This is largely thanks to the mainstream penetration of the Nintendo Wii, despite our grumbling - as well as the longevity of game content and subsequent value for money when compared to music or films. We're all feeling the pinch, after all. [Stop watching Newsnight. - Ed]

Still, retailers shouldn't complain just yet, because, as the ERA man points out, "They win whatever happens because they all sell music, video and games."