IndustryGamers has a fascinating piece on the era of the big box and its impact on retailers.

Of particular note is a table they have on the site looking at the profit certain items have per cubic inch, which is a valuable metric for all retailers.

Looking at the table above, one has to wonder if retailers will start pushing back in favor of products that are smaller and more profitable. Further, with their large size and lack of profitability per cubic inch of space they take up, these products are prime candidates for excessive discounting, which can materially hurt publishers as they must reimburse retailers for these discounts. In one recent case, in order to make room for the slew of peripheral based games this holiday season, a retailer discounted a music peripheral product by $90 – an unheard of amount.

Music-based games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band, even Wii Fit, have a much smaller profit per cubic inch than they re regular disc-based brothers.

Is there anything publishers can do to either innovate in the packaging of these games, or to better communicate through marketing the importance of having these first-run instruments make it into gamers homes?