Rise in Video Game Sales

There's a report on Reuters that sales of video game hardware and software are up 28% for July 2008. Good news, folks:

Helped by a steady flow of blockbuster titles, the video game industry has proved resilient to the economic hardships hitting other industries. A Nintendo representative said the company was seeing no impact from a slowdown in U.S. consumer spending.

This is a pretty impressive growth for a non-necessity during an economic slump, if you ask me.

I sometimes wonder how recession-proof the games industry is; I do, after all, have a vested interest in it. I comfort myself with the thought that the movie industry did fairly well during the Great Depression -- escapism during hard times is a pretty good seller, right?

And compared to cinema, video games offer a pretty good value proposition when you look at dollars spent per hour of entertainment. You can take a family of four to a two-hour movie for $24-$50 (plus more for snacks, specific cost depending on region and time of day) or you can buy a game for the same amount that can in theory entertain each of you for 10-60 hours, plus some replay time. If I only have $35 in entertainment money to spend, I sure know which one I'll pick.

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