‘Soon we’ll all be gamers’

It's not an exaggeration. I'll start with sales figures, but they're not the only indicator: In the first five months of this year retail sales of videogame software alone (not consoles) "grew 45% over the same period last year to $3.42 billion." Overall videogame industry growth was 32%," the San Jose Mercury News reports. In the UK, sales were up 28% the first half of this year to 33 million+ pounds (about $66 million), the Times of London reports. Other interesting indicators from the Times that this is not merely a phase. "Nintendo is now Japan's second most valuable company – trailing the car maker Toyota but ahead of giants such as Canon and Panasonic." High valuation of game makers in general is "an expression of the market's belief that this industry still has an enormous amount of room to grow," according to the Times, pointing to the explosive growth "that comes when everyone is converted to playing videogames" (with the first generation of child gamers becoming parents themselves and "whole families now gathering around a game console"). Female gamers are certainly in there, representing 38-40% of all gamers, CNET reports, citing two organizations' figures, and "the average female gamer plays games 7.4 hours per week," according to the Entertainment Software Association's figures. Meanwhile, the premier gaming industry conference "E3" is in process in L.A. this week (see the New York Times's scenesetter), thus all the videogame news.


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