Pssst…hey…come closer. We've got a secret to tell you: 'whispers' Video games are a pretty big deal. What, you knew that already? Well, much of the mainstream world doesn't, but that's currently undergoing a reconstruction, thanks to some pretty humongous numbers. Hollywood, watch as the games industry flies by you on the highway to popularity!

We don't have the NPD numbers for 2007 yet (duh), but the projections are through the roof, according to a report from KCCI Channel 8 in Des Moines. Forget about those intoxicated anorexic starlets for a minute and join us in the virtual world loaded with infinite possibilities; it's much more fun. This year is expected to be the biggest year ever for the industry, just like most previous years:

“We're forecasting a real record-breaker (for) 2007 sales of approximately $18 billion in the U.S.,” said David Riley of the NPD.

As this is the first full year of the new generation (the Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii are all out), and we've already seen the likes of blockbusters like Halo 3 , the industry is way up from the $12.5 billion it generated in 2006. Yes, that was a record-breaker, too. At the same time, Hollywood is predicting a record-breaking year at the box office, with total sales expected to top the $10 billion mark. But obviously, if all the predictions are even remotely accurate, the video game industry comes out on top by a significant amount. However, bear in mind the box office number doesn't include DVD sales, but even then, the two massive entertainment venues are very much neck-and-neck. And the biggest games are turning out bigger than even the most popular movies; Halo 3 's first-day sales hit $170 million, which is higher than any movie…ever.

Video games continue their relatively meteoric rise, and we'll be very interested to see the official NPD 2007 numbers early next year.

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