Video Game Sales Rock 2007

Dennis Faas's picture

So, Billy wants a new guitar this Christmas? By gosh, those things are expensive. He'll probably just give up, like he did with the drum set, piano, and karate. Why not just get him that Guitar Hero game?

That's been the opinion of many parents and gamers in the last year, with video game sales -- led by a new music genre -- completely rocking other entertainment sources. According to a report from the NPD Group, total video game sales (including both hardware and games) have rocketed to $10.5 billion through October 2007, about $3.5 billion more than last year at the same point. (Source:

Many gaming experts are attributing the huge growth to music-based games, like the very popular Guitar Hero franchise. The series' second version was released on Xbox 360 in April, and has since appeared on most next-gen consoles (plus the PlayStation 2) in the form of Guitar Hero III.

Also thrashing gamers this Christmas is Rock Band, the full quartet simulator that places life-like plastic instruments in the hands of four buddies, including lead and bass guitars as well as drums and vocals. Combining a number of different rhythm elements, Rock Band is about as hard to score as a Nintendo Wii this holiday season.

Microsoft, leader of the online gaming sphere, is certainly happy with the new interest in the music genre. It offers song packs for Guitar Hero II and III as well as Rock Band. That means big profits for the company's online service, Xbox Live.

Of course, most analysts are overlooking one tiny factor when attributing all of this success to music-based games: the period January-October 2006 boasted no Wii or Sony PlayStation 3. Their presence on the market this year has probably been the impetus for video game sales growth. (Source:

Nonetheless, rocker titles like Guitar Hero and Rock Band have, like Nintendo's Wii, opened the market to casual gamers who might rather head-bang to some G 'n R than head-shot some guy from Vermont.

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