Walk into a Japanese music or games store. Look left. Look right. Notice anything different, apart from the eclectic colour and anime freaky cartoons screaming in your earhole rendering you half-deaf? Amongst other things, an abundance of video game soundtrack CDs. The Japanese love the aural aspect of gaming, so much so that society has deemed the compositions as a bona fide form of audio art. As such, you can expect to see many original soundtracks (OSTs) littered about the place for any such game.
This trend is catching on in the West, particularly America. The large-scale video games are getting standalone soundtracks. Granted, most of them happen to be either Final Fantasy (whatever else?) or the chav-gathering titles aimed at those who like gritty, grey realism with as much life as a beige sweater. Not that I’m biased or anything, you understand. Jun Senoue’s getting in on the act by doing his best to ensure Sonic OSTs are brought to the US mostly intact.