A couple of articles referencing a new report on the games market. Highlights:

BBC: UK turning into nation of gamers

Over the last six years, the UK market for games grew by 100% and was worth a record £1,152m in 2003, according to a report by analysts Screen Digest.

It found that more than 25 million consoles or handheld gaming devices were sold between 1995 and 2003. This amounts to one for every household in the UK.

Over the same period, more than 280 million games were sold, enough for every home to own 11 titles each.

"The future of entertainment is games," said Roger Bennett, director general of the games trade body, Elspa.

"From an economic perspective, it is bigger than the box office, bigger in terms of exports than film or TV. It is not only economically valuable to UK PLC, but it is also important to note that the UK has a very large stake-holding in a global market."

Same data, different intepretation....

Reuters: "Video Game Sales Seen Pausing After Record 2003"

Video game sales soared to a record $18.2 billion last year, but the days of strong growth are on pause as players await a new generation of consoles in 2005 and 2006, a new study showed on Wednesday.

The British video game market, the third-largest in the world behind the United States and Japan, jumped almost 20 percent to $1.88 billion. The Western European market climbed 21 percent to $6.4 billion, the researchers said.

Screen Digest predicted global retail sales will rise a further 16 percent to $21.1 billion by 2007.