Video Gaming Industry Is Da Sticky Bomb

A rising tide lifted all the boats in the video gaming industry, and we all shot those boats with RPGs in our spare time. The industry reports $17.9 billion in sales for 2007, 43 percent higher than 2006. The Wii led the way in hardware, and Halo 3 sold an astonishing 4.82 million games.

The industry set new highs in every category of hardware and software, says NPD analyst Anita Frazier. "Both the PS3 and the Xbox 360 realized strong hardware sales increases," Frazier says. "The 360 in particular seems to have benefitted from a killer slate … including Call of Duty 4, Assassin's Creed and Halo 3."

Despite the Wii's success, it was only the top-selling console system. Nintendo's handheld DS actually sold more — 2.5 million in December.

"With the Wii and DS we are providing innovative experiences to core gaming fans, and we're bringing in new consumers," says Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo of America president.

Many analysts are pointing out the industry's historic ability to be unaffected by economic woes. "The numbers are great across the board," says Michael Pachter of Wedbush Morgan Securities. Guitar Hero and Rock Band "aren't just played by 25-year-old guys. They are bringing families together, and so is the Wii."

True, that. You shouldn't consider yourself a good parent until the spaceship beams you up from your performance of Freebird at Stonehenge, while your 12 year old watches in awe.