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Make no mistake about it, the entertainment model is changing

It's easy to get disenchanted with the marvel of technology. I've been writing and tinkering with technology almost as long as I can remember, and its a rare moment when I can stop for a second and say "Wow."

In 2007, I caught myself breathing in a few sighs of disbelief, but this industry has totally knocked my socks off on more than one occasion too.

Sure, we saw the debut of the iPhone, dirt cheap quad-core processors, OLED televisions, terabyte hard drives, a few consoles, nearly ubiquitous high-definition media; but in my opinion the culmination of this year in technology is the video game industry. 

Hollywood continues its downward spiral, television has come to a standstill as the WGA strike endures, the recording industry ran out of fans to sue -- even Broadway threw in the towel.  Yet the video game industry is not only flourishing, but peaking with incredible titles and unbelievable sales. 

When was the last time a movie took in $300 million dollars in the first week?  Microsoft figured out the formula with  Halo 3Halo 3's incredible sales were even used as the scapegoat for a poor fall box office.

Hollywood would consider it a miracle if 2.4 million people shelled out $8 for the next blockbuster, yet Blizzard managed to sell 2.4 million $50 expansion packs in a single day in the dead of Winter earlier this year.

And how about those Nintendo Wiis?  A year after its debut, nearly 2 million consoles produced per month, and yet the company still can't load enough of the consoles onto the store shelves.

Even little NVIDIA, a company once regarded as a boutique graphics manufacturer for gaming enthusiasts, managed to gross a billion dollars last quarter. There's some mobile and low-end sales mixed in there, but without a doubt NVIDIA is still a gaming company.

Is the video game industry, today, a paradigm of how entertainment should be? Maybe someday people will look back at 2007 and consider the Jason Joneses and Tim Sweeneys the new Dean Martins and Frank Sinatras of their time. EA and Nintendo certainly wouldn't disagree.

My only complaint is that I couldn't include Will Wright's pending masterpiece in the list of 2007's magnificent titles.  But then again, with the weakness of all the other entertainment industries, 2008 might shine even brighter for video games.




"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007









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