Having accelerated sharply during 2020, the rate of growth in retail constant value sales (2020 prices) of video games slowed significantly in 2021, with the category recording its worst performance in eight years. COVID-19 supported strong demand growth for video games in Italy during 2020, as more consumers looked for at-home activities to pass the time and maintain social interaction and emotional wellbeing during lockdown.
While retail constant value sales of video games software slowed significantly during 2021, those of video games hardware accelerated sharply. The launch of a new generation of consoles by Sony Computer Entertainment Italia SpA (PlayStation 5) and Microsoft Italia SpA (Xbox Series S and X) during late 2021 were the main driver of this.
In spite of supply shortages, Sony Computer Entertainment Italia SpA's PlayStation 5 overtook the Nintendo Switch to become the leading brand in video games in terms of value share during 2021. Nintendo Co Ltd remained the second-largest player.
The rate of growth in retail constant value sales of video games will gradually slow over the course of the forecast period. AR/VR headsets are set to be the top performer, albeit from quite a low base.
With a growing number of Italian homes set to have access to high-speed internet via fibre, video games sales will continue to shift from the physical to the digital realm. While some gamers will undoubtedly continue to want a physical copy so they can put their game library on display or resell games once they are finished with them, most will favour the convenience of digital.
Compared with some other EU countries, video games is still a relatively immature category in Italy, with a potentially large consumer base and significant scope for development and growth. On a less positive note, according to the Ministry of Health, many teenagers are prey to "vamping", a type of insomnia determined by connection bulimia.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Video Games industry in Italy with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
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This is the aggregation of video games hardware and video games software. Electronic/computerised educational toys such as Speak & Spell and LeapFrog are excluded from video games and included under pre-school. Video gaming population refers to the population that played a game at least once in the last 6 months on any covered platform. This includes players who have not spent any money on game purchases or in-game content purchases.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Video Games research and analysis database.
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