The Australian computer games market passed the $1 billion Australian ($878 million) sales mark in 2007.

Figures released by the Interactive Entertainment Association of Australia (IEAA) show that games hardware/software sales hit $1.3 billion Australian ($1.14 million), 43.6% up from on 2006.

The IEAA represents the three major manufacturers Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony, as well as game publishers such as Electronic Arts. Its figures are collated by market research company GfK. According to the IEAA, the figures reflect the fact that 2007 was the first full year of sales for new console platforms such as the Nintendo Wii, PS3 (Playstation 3) and Xbox 360. Console sales rose to almost $500 million Australian ($439 million), nearly double the $270 million Australian ($237 million) sold in 2006.

The IEAA says its research shows that the average age of gamers in Australia is now 28. IEAA CEO Ron Curry observed that the success of titles like "Singstar," "Buzz" and "Guitar Hero" has "moved video games out of lounge rooms and made them more mainstream."

Sony claimed sales of 175,000 PlayStation systems in the last five weeks of 2007. This was aided by a pre-Christmas price cut and a PS3 giveaway with its Bravia television sets over the period, according to Sony Computer Entertainment Australia's managing director Michael Ephraim.

Microsoft has yet to release figures for 2007. Nintendo will reveal figures for its Wii and DS consoles shortly.

The best-selling game across all consoles was "Halo 3" for the Xbox 360, which sold over 120,000 copies, according to IEAA.