To me, the top developments in the industry in 2008 have nothing to do with failed mergers or console sales.
Story #1: The iPhone is the new handheld gaming device. Konami even eschews the DS/PSP for its next Metal Gear and Silent Hill iterations. Garage indie devs and huge mega-publishers living together on one handheld platform? Who would have thought that a year ago?
Story #2: Developers/publishers start fighting back against Gamestop and other outlets of second sale. The Dynamic DNA registration card in NBA Live. Burnout Paradise, GTA4, & Gears of War all adopting DLC strategies to stop people from trading in games. Rock Band, Warhammer, World of Warcraft all deriving huges chunks of money from non brick-and-mortar channels. Penny Arcade tells Gamespot to go piss up a pole when they want to extort a chunk of their revenues from PA’s own digital distributions. Sony avoiding a retail release at all for a major title (Siren).
Story #3: This image and it’s ramifications: