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Nintendo "most susceptible" to recession

Company's casual-focused strategy could backfire, says analyst

Analysts are expecting record game sales for 2008 as the sector's popularity continues to buck the trend at UK retail, but that doesn't mean there aren't some rocky roads ahead for the industry.

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Xbox exec Shane Kim said yesterday that he's expecting some "tough times" next year, but one analyst, Nick Gibson of Games Investor Consulting, told The Guardian that he thinks Nintendo's most likely to take a hit from the recession.

"As the market has become more casual-gamer focused, then it will be more susceptible to the economic rhythm," he said. "I would say that Nintendo therefore would be the most susceptible."

According to the UK broadsheet there's evidence to back up Gibson's theory. 'Conversations with independent retailers around the UK suggest the interest for Nintendo titles is not what it was; they are already seeing more secondhand games brought in and fewer sold,' said the report.

Screen Digest analyst Piers Harding-Rolls agreed with the view that "these new, more casual mainstream consumers... are more likely to view gaming as a discretionary luxury", but he told the paper that he thinks the pricier PS3 could be the one to suffer.

"Arguably the PS3 is most vulnerable to a downturn. Generally consumers become more price-sensitive under these conditions and the PS3 is expensive, so they may delay their purchase or even buy a different console," he suggested, shortly before Sony said it has no intention of cutting the console's price any time soon.

Seems like the doom and gloom that's everywhere else is starting to sneak into the games industry too then.

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