PS4 and 3DS were the lone standouts in a dismal year.
The UK market suffered some severe contraction last year, with there having been a drop of 13.4% in physical game sales in 2016, according to the latest report by tracker Gfk (via GamesIndustry.biz). Sales were down 13.4% by volume, and 13.8% by revenue, with only 23.7 million games sold in the year, generating £776 million.
The decline is attributed to multiple factors- the sudden collapse of the PS3 and Xbox 360 ecosystems contributed, as did the failure of several big games this year, such as Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Gears of War 4, Dishonored 2, Watch Dogs 2, and Titanfall 2.
The bright sparks in 2016 were the PS4, which saw software sales rise year on year, buoyed in part by the launch of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, and miraculously, Nintendo’s 3DS, which saw sales surge on the back of Pokemon GO- Pokemon X/Y and OmegaRuby/AlphaSapphire had already done extremely well earlier in the year, and Pokemon Sun/Moon went on to thoroughly overperform as well.
Going into 2017, it will be interesting to see what the state of the UK market is. The 3DS is winding down, and while Nintendo have the Switch lined up as a replacement, it is unclear whether or not they will find much success in the UK market, which has always been a hard one for them to crack.