Too many games, too many sales?

Kotaku recently ran an article stating that the number of games being released per year has been growing exponentially. This should be obvious with the how the industry has grown as a whole, becoming as mainstream as television and movies, and expanding into a huge casual market. Whether you want to count Farmville and Peggle as true video games or not, you can't deny that people of all ages and backgrounds are more aware of interactive media than ever before. 
 
But despite the simple puzzle games and licensed shovelware, there are still many more quality games being produced than ever before. And consumers are better informed about what is a good game and what is not, thanks to extensive online gaming coverage from numerous outlets, and review score aggregate sites like Metacritic and Gamerankings. Publishers seem to be aware of this, and very rarely will you see a bad game sell well due to strong advertising anymore. Look at Tony Hawk Ride. 
 
But with all these great new games coming out, how does anyone find the time to play all the "important" ones? A decade ago, it was much easier to own all the major game platforms and play most of the games everyone else was, so that you could discuss them in class or at work. Anyone who was able to play for a few hours a day and didn't just play the same game was probably a well-rounded "expert" on the newest, boundary-pushing games. But today?
 
Today it's nearly impossible to find the time to play every well-designed shooter, brawler, fighting, racing, RPG and sports game that gets released in a calender year. In fact, you'd be lucky to play every well-reviewed game in a single one of those categories. Quality is improving dramatically, and quantity is right there with it. And instead of having to walk into Gamestop or Best Buy and pay full retail price on release day, you can find amazing deals both online through Amazon or GoGamer and in stores like Toys 'R Us and Walmart happening all the time, allowing you get get even brand new games for half price. So how do you play everything you want to?
 
Nowadays, you should probably find out exactly what you're getting from a game before purchase, to save yourself the despair of finding out you it wasn't what you expected. Finishing a game you don't fully enjoy these days is almost silly, with how much else is out there. Of course, you can always make use of Gamestop's oft-maligned used game trade-in. Or, if you're not the type to let your games sit for too long, sign up for Gamefly. But either way, research these days is key to a rewarding gaming experience. Just watch out for spoilers.

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