Europe, take a bow. That Nielsen report from the other day, the one which gave us all kinds of neat statistics on European gamers, also gives us one piece of information that's much more important: the fact that Europe has overtaken the US in terms of market size. And not even all of Europe, just the European Union, since Nielsen's poll only included countries from the continental body. Turns out that in 2007, gaming pulled in $11.4 billion in the EU, compared to "only" $10.7 billion in the US. That figure puts the EU second only to Asia in terms of size, where $11.5 billion in gaming revenue was generated during 2007. The figure's probably skewed by the fact there are nearly 500,000,000 people in the EU, who in US dollar terms are paying almost double what Americans are, but hey, we're here for numbers, not nitpicking.
@Antiterra: Good times, eh... I was not a rich kid nor were my parents loaded, I used to buy a SNES game every 3 months or so. Since there was no Internets, I got all my info on those games from Super Play (best mag ever made, period), so I was always very well informed on stuff going out in US and Japan.
I had an Amiga 500 prior to the SNES (ah, good times!!!) so the Megadrive was good and all, but it wasnt such a step forward from the games on the Amiga, unlike the SNES ones (near arcade perfect SF2 gameplay? Yes pls!!!). So, when everyone bought a Megadrive over here, I waited for a bit, saving my Escudos (ah, pre-€uro times..good times x3) so that I was able to jump on a SNES+Mario World pack and F-Zero the day they were released in Europe. Little did I know that in a few years time, games would go from 10.000 Escudos(50€uros) to the allmighty 18.000 Escudos (Donkey Kong Country, 90€uros).
Every SNES games was cherished, an event. Not for their price, but for the hours (months!) of good memories they provided, namely if they were multiplayer. There was quality in there, in fact, some of my all time favorite games will always be on the SNES.
But then again, I was young, I had no clue why games costed that much, I though It was the way of thing were. I do know, the Internet is truly a blessing of knowledge, so I know that im being ripped off when I get asked 70€ for any 360/PS3 game thats gets released in my country. Now I have choices, like Amazon. Back in those days, owning more then one console was for rich people (My loaded friends had Neo-Geos... Christ, 150€ for the cheapest games...). Having more then a couple of games persystem, was for rich people.
I had a Gameboy and a SNES, in their entire tech lifecycle (5 or 6 years) I owned 20 games for the GameBoy and 20 for the SNES. In 1999 I reassmelbed my SNEs and went bargain hunting on ebay. the end result was [shir.no.sapo.pt] . I still play them up to this day. ebay and emulation (pacthed games that neve rleft japan) were sort of my "revenge/payback" for all those years of being "poor".
Sorry for the long rant, people. Its a hard to be a european gamer. Thats why things like Brawl yet to show up in PAL is just something I sadly find natural. I can only imagine ohow our PAL Brothers from Australia must feel...