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Time editorial (sort of) explains why video games are a good economic indicator


Time Magazine thinks that video games are a good economic indicator -- as in, if the gaming industry is doing poorly (it's not), that speaks volumes about the national economic situation. And Time's reasoning is sound, more or less: "When people cannot spend $300 on a console or $50 on a game which can be used for hours and played over and over again, the money for discretionary spending has dried up."

The piece references declines in sales of the Nintendo Wii (selling "only" 340k units in April) as well as the recent loss report by Sony on its PlayStation division. Problem is, it makes no mention whatsoever of the repeated analyst reports citing year-over-year declines being forced by AAA-games being released in the traditionally dormant late-Winter/early-Spring months, during 2008. And furthermore, the author worries about the sales of the PS3 in April, not making any mention of the relatively robust PS2 and PSP sales during the same time period.

Then again, the Time website has Jim Cramer divvying out economic tips just three inches to the right of this piece, so, ya know, there's that trustworthy source of financial information.

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