Game, which posted record results this week, has revealed that it will focus on software for a broader customer base as the product mix shifts away hardware releases.

Pre-tax profits rocketed 156 per cent to£75.5 million, excluding an exceptional cost of£7.1 million for the acquisition of Gamestation, for the year to January 31. Sales soared 86 per cent to just under£1.5 billion with like-for-likes up 41.2 per cent.

Chief executive Lisa Morgan said that the growing range of software, which now includes cookery and karaoke programs, as well as more traditional action games, had enabled it to attract a wider range of customers.

“Video games are now mainstream entertainment. We have a lot of new customers coming into our markets and a host of new titles,” she said, adding that the Gamestation deal had allowed the business to enhance its popularity with core gamers.

However, Kaupthing analyst Matthew McEachran was cautious. “While the new games cycle appears to have longer-term benefits from family game play, market share is being lost to other players.”

Morgan played this down, however, saying: “The core business has been holding its own.”

Separately, a man was stabbed in the neck outside a Gamestation store in Croydon at the midnight launch of Grand Theft Auto IV on Tuesday. The attack came just weeks after the publication of the Byron review into computer games, which recommended stronger rules on certification. Morgan said: “We take age certification very seriously.”