In a speech delivered to mark the start of E3 2006, Entertainment Software Association president Doug Lowenstein has predicted that the games industry is set to see "solid growth" over the next few years.
According to Lowenstein, the industry must look to the long term, and decide where it plans to be in 2010. He conceded that there was a fall in game sales between 2004 and 2005, but added: "Whatever occurs in 2006 - and I have heard all the doom and gloom - the following few years, I believe, will be years of solid growth and stunning creative advances."
Lowenstein went on to refer to the growing demographic of people aged between 10 and 30 years old who have grown up with games, which he believes are "the rock and roll of their generation."
"Halo 3 and the Sims and Zelda are the Grateful Deads and the Rolling Stones," he added.
Lowenstein concluded by expressing his hope that E3 2006 will not just herald the arrival of next-gen console gaming, but the transition of "videogames as pure entertainment to videogames as a recognised and central feature in the economy and business of America, and of the world."