October 14, 2008 by Adam Dioria
Say what you will about Wall Street, credit markets and the troubling state of the economy. But with U.S. video game industry sales tracking up 32-percent year-to-date and expected to top $22-24 billion by January, software publishers just don’t seem to have gotten the memo. Thankfully, it’s everyday enthusiasts who are reaping the dividends.
Forget impassioned pleas about titles’ now near-universal HDTV compatibility, 5.1 surround sound features, indie movie-level budgets, increasingly literate storylines and overall quality gains. Just do the math. In terms of sheer entertainment value, at 20-40 hours’ average playtime per PC or next-generation console title, even assuming roughly $30-60 a shot, you’re still getting a better deal than movies, music and live events combined. So chip up… With hundreds of chartbusting releases due in every category from futuristic blasters to tense tactical showdowns and rump-shaking music simulations before December 31st, your 401K’s loss is your leisure time’s gain.
Following is a sneak peek at just a few thumb-twisting smashes sure to keep gas-starved families happily mobbing the boob tube until long after the Hanukah hymns and Christmas carols have faded. Because, as compared with, say, buying up Washington Mutual stock or binging on rental property, hey… From a pure ROI standpoint, suddenly, taking out a second mortgage on set-top gems like the PlayStation 3, Wii and Xbox 360 suddenly doesn’t seem like such a dumb investment.
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