The deal is that review scores overall are down this year. In fact, only 2006 is worse. And it's not just a fraction of a point, it's a point or two spread.
By several other measures, this has been a great year. I honestly think we could see sales over $19 billion this year. Software sales are way up. People appear to be really enjoying games, in part because of the Wii and games like Rock Band and Guitar Hero.
But my favorite bit was recalling the discussions -- particularly right after Sega went software-only -- about how maybe the market could only support two major consoles. If anything, this year has shown that the market has grown to support FOUR consoles: PS2, PS3, Wii, and Xbox 360. Sure, the PS3 is hurting, but it will still probably do a good bit better than the GameCube eventually. Maybe you want to say that the PS2 + PS3 count as one -- I'd probably accept that, but the point stands that the market is robust enough to keep three systems going, minimum.
I got some more stuff out of the digging behind this article that will either end up here or somewhere else eventually.
Not only would I not say PS2 and PS3 are one market, but since Sony dropped PS2 compatibility specifically to splinter the demographic more, I'd say they would disagree with it as well.
I've been pretty meh about 2007 until the Orange Box hit for PC and I saw the release list for November Wii titles.
Define "support" because last time I looked XB360 and PS3 still bleed money like a slaughter house. Oh, sure the companies hide the costs and I think MS with some "barely legal” SEC filings made it look like they were in the black for once. However, the truth is neither MS nor Sony are doing a healthy business in games straight up.
That is not to say company will fold, they make money elsewhere, but the reality is on a level playing field it might be that the market will only support two systems: Wii and DS. I suppose you can thank your favorite deity that the games business is done by multinational mega-corps otherwise I’d stop gaming if all I had was what people could squeeze on the weak Nintendo hardware.