— Video game sales beat DVD, Blu-ray in ’08 : Video game sales grew 20 percent to reach $32 billion worldwide in 2008, outselling combined DVD and Blu-ray sales, which fell 6 percent to $29 billion. Both stats were short of research firm Media Control GfK International’s growth projections for last year: it had pegged video game sales to grow by 22 percent, while DVD/Blu-ray sales were supposed to inch up by one percent. GfK attributed the under-performance to the recession. (Via GamesIndustry.biz).
— Gaming companies spent $4.2 million lobbying last year : The Entertainment Software Association spent more than $4.2 million on federal lobbying in 2008, Gamasutra reports; up nearly 26 percent year-over-year. The gaming trade organization mostly focused on issues around broadband deployment, anti-piracy and patent modernization, but retained outside firms for help on parental control technologies, game ratings and copyright matters.
— Study disputes DS Lite’s brain-boosting power : A report by the University of Rennes in France found that the
DS Lite Brain Age game, which Nintendo has been touting as a memory stimulator, is no better at improving memory than reading a book. The study split more than 60 ten-year-olds into four groups — including kids that used a seven-week memory course on the DS and kids that used paper-and-pencil tests — and found that DS learners failed to show “any significant improvement” in memory tests. In fact, children using the DS did 17 percent worse when it came to memorization tests, while paper-and-pencil learners did 33 percent better. Alain Lieury, the University professor who conducted the survey, told the Times Online the DS was fine as a game, but that it was “charlatanism” to say its benefits were scientifically proven.