THE rising popularity of gaming consoles in Ireland has caused a surge in the demand for repair specialists in the recession.
An estimated 1.2m homes in Ireland have gaming consoles like the Nintendo Wii and the Xbox, and the majority of these have outgrown the manufacturer's guarantee, according to Chevron Training, a skills training centre.
The demand for gaming console technical support is increasing in Ireland, and many cash-strapped parents opted to repair consoles for Christmas rather than buy them new.
Karl Fitzpatrick, a director of Chevron Training said: "There are over 1.2 million game consoles, from the Nintendo Wii to the Xbox to the Nintendo DS, and there are very few homes without these consoles.
"We contacted companies that retail these consoles to ask if they had people to repair them. None of these retailers had a person to hand."
"Around 1.2 million were bought over the last five years, and the vast majority of these are now out of warranty and they would at some point require a repairer. In recessionary times, people repair instead of replace."
Sean Pezillo, owner of Console Repairs Ireland, said Christmas was an austere time for parents, some of whom tried to buy parts for the consoles and assemble them themselves cheaply.
"This Christmas, it was a lot more depressing than it's ever been. There were people coming in who were at the edge and [repairing the game] was their only option of celebrating Christmas."