Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Beer Syndrome - Part Five

(By Richard Holway) You can read all my other Beer Syndrome posts over the last 18 months by starting at Beer Syndrome – Part Four. For new readers, or old ones with poor memories, Holway’s Beer Syndrome is that in a downturn consumers stay at home and play with their gadgets – whilst eating cheap pizza and drinking beer bought at the supermarket. There is now so much evidence of this that it has surely turned from a theory into a fact.

Anyway, today we had yet more evidence to add to case. In the UK, sales of computer games rose by 23% to £1.9b in 2008. This is not (entirely) due to the old style alien/dungeon computer games played by teenagers in their bedrooms. It’s a family affair. The Nintendo Wii has revolutionised living rooms and means that it is a fun way of bringing all ages together in a bit of bonding – laughing at Grandad playing RockBand or Guitar Heroes. Indeed, the Wii has been the main winner with UK sales of Wii consoles up a staggering 112% to £481m in 2008 – eclipsing Microsoft’s X-Box which increased sales a more measly 38%.

Not only does this show that, in a recession, there can indeed be some mega winners but as a family man, I really like the idea of families doing things together. With us it was Monopoly etc. But a whole family laughing together playing on a Wii seems just as good.

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