According to a recent story in The New York Times:
"Americans bought $21.33 billion worth of video game systems, software and accessories [in 2008]. This is a big jump from the previous year's roughly $18 billion... "While industry growth has not continued at the blistering pace we saw during the second and third quarters, December's 9% increase over last December brings the year in 19% ahead of last year, and sets a new record for total industry sales," said market researcher NPD Group analyst Anita Frazier.
"December marked the first time that the gaming industry's revenue topped $5 billion in a single month, she noted. In comparison, it took all of 1997 to hit industry sales of $5.1 billion."