ABC Report: Computing

Sales of computer titles generally, and gaming titles especially, were down in the first half of the year. The market is traditionally quieter in the six months to June because sales pick up in the second half in the run-up to Christmas. However, sales of leading titles were down on the same time last year, with Official PlayStation 2 suffering a loss of more than 10,000 sales. The PC titles PC Pro and Personal Computer World were also down.

Computer Shopper bucked the trend with an impressive 7.6 per cent increase in circulation. VNU's Computeractive, which posted a sale of 243,267 at the end of 2003, opts to report its circulation only at the end of each year.

James Tye, the computer division managing director at Dennis Publishing, says: "Computer Shopper and PC Pro have had superb results on the newsstand and Computer Shopper will see its second significant increase in a row."

Robert Price, the managing director of Future Publishing, comments: "We expect a stronger second half with a number of blockbuster games announced, as well as industry anticipation of further games console price reductions."

Verdict Sales of console titles will pick up in the second half of the year, but the PC newsstand market remains difficult.


TITLE PUBLISHER Total ABC Period- Yr-on-yr

on-period % change

% change

Official PlayStation 2 Future 177,450 -5.80 -5.70

Computer Shopper Dennis 107,726 4.20 7.60

PC Pro Dennis 106,064 -3.90 -9.50

Personal Computer World Dennis 101,171 -15.80 -16.80

Official UK Xbox Magazine FXM Intl 83,549 1.00 4.20

PC Gamer Future 57,748 -9.90 -11.90

PlayStation World FXM Intl 56,834 -14.60 6.50

Games Master Future 55,254 2.50 -6.70

Play Highbury Ent 54,109 -5.20 -16.40

Nintendo Official

Magazine Emap Active 46,108 -8.20 -1.90

Source: Audit Bureau of Circulations, January-June 2004.