‘Don’t count out Sony’

Sure, despite an impressive rise to claim 17 per cent of the software market in 2008, the PS3 has yet to factor greatly in the expansion the trade is celebrating. But despite what the bloggers might want to believe about the PlayStation division being a slaughter-worthy ‘sacred cow’ – as some web reports blathered earlier this week – games is still one of firm’s big money makers, unlike TVs and other goods it is classically known for.

So with SCEE  specifically doing well for its owner in the sales stakes, any knee-jerk suggestions at this point that a price cut is needed might be ill-founded. Indeed, at a time when pressure on the pound continues to mount, it’s more likely that Sony couldn’t cut the price even if it wanted, and such a move would create problems rather than solve any.

So, as we accurately predicted in a pre-Christmas report on mcvuk.com, the UK games industry has enjoyed another record breaking year.

A figure of 4bn total market revenues with the market twice as big as it was in 2002 is to be widely celebrated.

However, it will be no surprise if some doom-monger soon proclaims the Golden Age of 2007/2008 over as consumers tighten their belts.

So fingers crossed that the new demographics attracted to video games have been drawn in for good, and don’t see it as a disposable entertainment source.

During the two-week holiday at Christmas, I sunk around 50 hours into Fallout 3. Tragic waste of time? Maybe to some – but at 35 for the game, that means just 70p for each hour of play, and I’ll happily pay for more. So here’s hoping that consumers (and those usually quick to criticise the industry) bear this value for money in mind should the economic climate continue to put pressure on spending.

It wasn’t great timing when Zavvi’s Christmas surprise present to staff was the chain going into administration on Christmas Eve. Our thoughts go out to those 3,000 employees left waiting to find out what happens next.
But, er, every cloud… There’s now some prime retail spots available to a savvy retailer, including (as we reveal on the right), the iconic Tottenham Court Road/Oxford Street site. Perfect space for a GAME or GameStation superstore? Or even one of those luxury GameStop concept stores being trialled in the USA…
Interested parties should get their applications into a certain Mr Branson ASAP.

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