Great update Nick--thanks!
Agreed. I like the News by Numbers format, always something interesting.
I too have never found AR games appealing--if anything, it signals to me that the foundations of the gameplay aren't strong enough to carry the game by themselves, so the dev has added this gimmick to add interest from non-serious-gamers.
I think it's going to be like 3D movies (the current wave, not the 50's/60's red/blue ones) - Avatar was done from the ground up as 3D, and was fantastic that way. Then a ton of other in-production movies said, "hey, we gotta jump on this!", and threw 3D effects into movies that hadn't been designed from the start that way, just to cash in, and the results were mediocre.
AR games will likely go the same way - a bunch of games will have AR thrown in just to cash in, and will be pretty (maybe), but quickly forgettable, while a few games will actually be groundbreaking.
And in relation to the VCR games (I didn't remember those until you mentioned)... Folks have a tendency to say "music today is terrible, but in my day, in decade X, music was great" - no, there was plenty of crap music back then, too, and only a small quantity of really great music, you just remember the great stuff and forget the rest.