The video game Pokemon surprised everyone because it was a sleeper hit. Instead of selling huge quantities in the initial month it was released, it became a success by consistency, moving a good number of units every single month. It was only months later that people realize, hey, we have a best-selling game on our hands!
Now what does this have to do with D&D 4th Ed.? The core books of D&D pretty much follows that model. These days, both D&D and Pokemon sell quite well upon the initial release, but a lot of stock is nonetheless moved over the period of months and even years. It's no secret (but unfortunately many retailers and bookstores aren't aware of) that the best-selling D&D books are the core books. Unfortunately, one can't come out with core books on a regular basis. In order to release the core books, you need to have a new edition. D&D 3.0 got away with releasing D&D 3.5 but I think that's the exception rather than the norm (or even what should be the standard for a release). So over the span of roughly three decades, we've had three editions of D&D. And the 4th one has just been announced (to the point that Wizards of the Coast and Enworld are down probably due to the consumption of so much bandwidth) and it's easily the biggest news in gaming history (dwarfing the events that have transpired in the past few months, such as the cancellation of Dragon and Dungeon magazine). Meanwhile, you can check out the Podcast at Gleemax.
I'm sure gamers have mixed feelings about this event. Bookstores, comic shops, and game retailers will be rejoicing however. Here's a set of RPG books (and not just one) that will sell! And most likely, the initial supplements/accessories (adventures, character sheets, etc.) will sell well too. By no means will it be matching the likes of Harry Potter, but guaranteed sales is guaranteed sales nonetheless. So here's the hint to game stores and bookstores: place your orders on the D&D 4th Ed. Core Books.
The Philippine setting, however, will be hard to predict. I buy D&D books but I've also seen majority of gamers depend on pirated PDFs for their gaming material. So whether they'll go out and buy the new core books remains to be seen. I'm not saying no one will buy 'em. Some dedicated gamers will (and at the very least, you can count me as one of the folk who'll be buying the core books). It's just that some gamers won't vote with their wallet but with their bandwidth, downloading those illegally scanned PDFs. Now I'm not condemning those who scan the books--I make use of them too as I fight it easier to browse material on the computer rather than the book on my lap. I'm just disappointed several gamers will not support the gaming companies by not paying for the actual product.