ABC Intro: Computing

Sales of console titles were generally robust, owing to the Christmas run-in and the launch of blockbuster games such as Halo 2 on Xbox.

PlayStation titles saw a slight year-on-year increase of 1.7 per cent across the board and Xbox title sales were also slightly up.

The biggest games magazine publisher, Future, which is set to buy the rival publisher Highbury, saw a decline in sales of Official PlayStation 2 but strong performances from its other PlayStation 2 titles.

General gaming titles, such as Edge and Games Master, also performed well. Mia Roberts, the publishing director for Future's games group, says: "2005 has the potential to be an exciting year for games as both Sony and Nintendo are due to launch new handheld consoles in the UK."

The PC magazine market was down, with sales of PC leisure titles falling by 2.4 per cent and business titles by 7.1 per cent. Computer Shopper was a leading title that bucked the trend thanks to investment in the product.

Verdict - The console magazine market is set for a good year on the back of the launch of new consoles from leading manufacturers.

COMPUTING

TITLE Publisher Total ABC Period-on- Year-on-

period year

% change % change

Computeractive VNU 236,026 n/a -3.0

Official Play-

Station 2 Future 172,593 -2.7 -8.4

Computer Shopper Dennis 107,956 0.2 4.4

PC Pro Dennis 107,898 1.7 -2.2

Personal Computer

World Dennis 93,038 -8.0 -22.6

PlayStation World Future 70,077 23.3 5.3

Play Highbury 68,963 27.5 20.9

Games Master Future 62,159 12.5 15.3

Microsoft Windows XP Future 58,473 n/a -13.7

PC Gamer Future 57,023 -1.3 -11.0