The Sims is 10 years old this week! To celebrate, we're dusting off our long look back at the series from the start of 2008, prior to the release of The Sims 3. For the full picture, make sure to check out our more recent reviews of The Sims 3 and The Sims 3: World Adventures. What's "happy birthday" in simlish?
Concluding our coverage of Chart-Track's annual report, today Kristan picks his way through the PC market, the burgeoning Xbox 360 market, and any other markets he can find. He was round here the other day admiring fish and everything. Multi-Market Reed we used to call him. I'm not saying he's promiscuous though. He is, but I'm not saying that. All data (and trout) from Chart-Track's annual report. Used with permission. And in Fisherman's Pies.
The steady decline of the PC software market was in evidence once again in 2005, with the total market share (by value) of all PC software (including non-games packages from the likes of Norton) representing just 24.6 per cent. By contrast, back in 1999, this figure was a whopping 41 per cent, although the actual money spent by consumers has remained roughly unchanged since that time (£299.188m in 2005, versus £290.316m in 1999, when you were clearly a bit stingier). Compared to last year, sales are down from their all-time value peak of £310.856m, which is a curious statistic when you consider that the actual installed base of PCs across the country has never been higher, broadband penetration has been soaring and prices of PCs are at rock bottom.
It's a joy of living. If you wait long enough, the world will prove any of your arguments for you.
I've a knee-jerk distaste for the argument that says the Sims add-on packs are just the milking of a cash cow or a rip-off of the devoted fanbase. Because they're not. They add new gameplay elements - and when it's the only game in an entire genre, that's absolutely required. Imagine there was only one decent first-person shooter in existence. God knows we'd crave whatever add-on packs its publishers could produce. So just dismissing Sims add-ons because they're not to your taste... well, it's just wrong.
The joy of the Sims 2 Christmas Party pack is that it illustrates perfectly why even the others, even the worst of them, aren't simple rips-offs by showing exactly what a Sims 2 rip-off looks like.