Sainsbury’s has announced plans to triple its games-related marketing budget in order to grab 5% of the UK’s gaming hardware sales.

Its games console strategy for Christmas 2009 and beyond was revealed by games manager Gurdeep Hunjan at the chain`s entertainment conference. He said the marketing would appear in women`s and specialist magazines, the national press, mail outs and tie-ins with publishers. It also plans to offer money-off vouchers.

Hunjan said: “We will have a much better Christmas, simply because we can go big and have less concerns on stock.

“Our plans are to have the biggest launches on product at Sainsbury’s in history - and drive hardware and accessories harder than ever. We will be supporting this with two to three times more marketing investment year-on-year.”

He added: “Selling hardware is very important to us, it drives loyalty and it drives repeat purchases. About 25% of our customers buy software from us three months after buying hardware.”