Gaming to pass the time

Game console sales increase by double digits during the pandemic

More free time and time spent at home during lockdown also changed our leisure activities. Video game consoles have benefited from the pandemic, showing significant growth in 2020. Unit sales, revenue and the average price per console in both Germany and the United Kingdom have grown, almost doubling in some areas. This is reflected in the market figures reported by the Home Electronics Market Index* (HEMIX) and the market research company GfK.

In Germany, the widespread tendency to stay home more in 2020 was reflected in a 29 per cent increase in game console sales reaching 669 million euros. In the same period, however, the number of devices sold increased at a slower rate by six per cent to reach 2.1 million consoles. This was likely because of the limited availability of the newest generation of consoles at the end of the year. Even so, the new generation of consoles contributed to an average price rise of 22 per cent to reach 322 euros per console.

The market in the United Kingdom showed even stronger growth, with just under three million game consoles sold (+35 per cent) generating revenue of the equivalent of 991 million euros (+62 per cent). The average price per console also jumped significantly in the UK, increasing by 20 per cent to reach 333 euros

“The raw numbers show that people in Britain have a significantly higher affinity for game consoles: Around three million consoles were sold in the UK, compared with the two million or so sold in Germany. When population figures are taken into account, this discrepancy increases further. Because of the pandemic, the British market has gained more ground – by 40 per cent in terms of unit sales, and almost 48 per cent when talking about revenue,” said Dr. Sara Warneke, managing director of gfu Consumer & Home Electronics GmbH, commenting on the market figures.

* Based on a draft publication from HEMIX covering Q1-4/2020. The detailed publication about the entire market index in 2020 will be publicly available at the beginning of March 2021.