Digital gaming soars nine percent, still knows nothing of rarity value

It's already chewed up some big names on the retail scene, but the game-downloading trend shows no sign of being sated. Fresh figures from market research firm NPD show that American digital game sales (including rentals and DLC) amounted to $2.04 billion in the fourth quarter of 2011, which represents a nine percent year-on-year hike at a time when physical game transactions fell three percent. Things are going the same way across the Atlantic, with the UK, France and Germany adding a further $1.29 billion to the burgeoning click-to-buy market. Industry types will surely welcome the news, since digital titles rake in higher margins (hello, PS Store) and reduce the trade in used discs, but what about those of us who'll one day want to swap our dusty copy of Fight Night Round Four for something more subtle?