From the Daily Telegraph
The games men play
By MICHAEL BODEY
WHO said video games were for kids? Record sales for the latest Playstation 2 video game has confirmed men are driving the new technology.
The game V8 Supercar Race Driver has become the fastest selling Playstation game in Australian history.
Its first week sales of 25,000 copies not only eclipsed previous fastest selling games, Gran Turismo 3 and Metal Gear Solid 2, but halted sales for most other games. The unprecedented sales have been driven by the major video game demographic – men.
According to Sony Computer Entertainment research more than 70 percent of the more than 400,000 Australian Playstation 2 owners are men aged more than 18.
And those men have flocked to the game that simulates Australian V8 motor car racing.
"Driving is the most popular game genre and V8 racing is the biggest motor racing category, so there's been pent up demand," said Mark Gilbert, Group Marketing Manager for the game's distributor, Infogrames Australia.
"The older demographics are driving this game," confirmed a Sony spokeswoman.
Games industry sales tracking organisation, INFORM, confirmed it was the fastest selling game, on all platforms, since it began recording weekly sales in early 2001.
So why is this one game so popular? The gaming market – older men – love their sports simulations. Shane Warne Cricket was one of the best sellers on the Playstation 1 console and soccer games proliferate. Gridiron simulation games are the most popular in the United States. Australian men love their V8 car racing even more. And V8 racing has its icons everyone wants a piece of.
"Most people, from what I can gather, get the game and go straight to the Bathurst track," said Gilbert.
While other car racing games have been released, including V8 Challenge, none have approached V8 Supercar Race Driver's realistic driving simulations.
Thirty year old Jason Bargwanna, one of the V8 Supercar drivers featured, admitted he's a fan.
"Nothing will be like the real thing but if you're in your living room and turn the heater up to 55 degrees and put on three tracksuits, this is as close as you'll get," he said.
"The tracks are very good, the sound's perfect, braking points are the same and it handles really realistically."
"It services our fans and I believe it will possibly attract new fans to the sport," he added.
The game also received a boost with its use as a simulator during Channel 10's telecasts of the V8 series and integrated promotion on the V8 series' official website.
BIG BOYS' TOYS
GAME: V8 Supercar Race Driver
COST: Retail price $109 (although available for up to $20 less)
AUSTRALIAN TRACKS AVAILABLE: Adelaide Street Circuit, Phillip Island, Eastern Creek, Mt Panorama Bathurst, Oran Park, Canberra Street Circuit, Sandown.
MORE INFORMATION: http://www.v8supercars.com.au;