Time Talks Games And Economy...And Gets It Wrong
No, Bill's not bragging about his RRoD. We have to assume that the in-depth article may discuss how the Xbox 360 has become more reliable (or so one would hope), but the crux of the matter is how the game industry is often a good economic indicator.
Now, before we summarize the article, let's explain something: Thomas Jefferson said the economy is magic. If you tell people the economy is bad, it will be bad. If you say the economy is good, it will be good. In some capacity, small or large, the media is responsible for the current state of the economy. And it always is. That being said, the Time Article talks about how the April sales of the game industry are "troubling." Sales of games dipped 23% and console sales were down 40%. Then it goes on to the painfully uninformed conclusion that such numbers are a "clear sign that sales of consumer electronics are in a flat spin." And this, my friends, is what happens when those completely unfamiliar with this industry pose as industry journalists. Apparently, even a publication like Time hasn't figured it out.
The video game industry thrives on software. Software people want to buy. Hence, examining sales in this industry isn't the same as examining the sales of freakin' iPods. If there are no big games out that people want, both software and hardware sales will dive big time. Now, 'ahem'...what happened in April? Take a quick look to see what released. Yeah. Nothing. April was a dead month. Perhaps it doesn't matter to these people that industry analysts have already predicted another huge year in 2009, and that Sony has upped their fiscal PlayStation 3 sales projection by 30%. And of course, why bother to look at NPD numbers in months when huge releases reigned? And when the economy was at its lowest (early this year), what were the numbers like? In comparison, not too shabby, no? People didn't buy a lot of software and hardware in April because there wasn't sh** to buy. ...and these are professional journalists? Really?
5/15/2009 Ben Dutka