In hard times companies dont axe thier IT departments they just kill new projects and purchasing. Given the abysmally slow software development cycle for most business projects this actually makes sense -- "I save $100,000 dollars now on something that might work in 2011.".
Its pretty much the same in the consumer market - if you might lose your job next month that cluncky old Dell suddenly looks "good enough" and no new hardware - no new software.
Your probably right about the games industry though!
And it not just a case of unemployment shooting up to 10%, many of those in jobs will be earning less money -- low bonuses, low sales commisions, people lost a job but found another at a lower salary etc.
Those people who did manage to earn as much or more than last year are reluctant to spend it and are preparing for the time when thier luck runs out.
Another poster commented on how "business could save millions if they revisited thier old systems". Sorry but the running costs of an existing system will rarely be more than the software devlopment costs of "improvements". This is call "Business Process Re-engineering" in Bullshit and thier have been too many high profile failures in this area for this to be taken seriously by Business management.
If developers had delivered more on time/on budget/fullfills requirments software during the good years these arguments might have some credibility -- but for the most part corporate america would rahter stick with the abd smell thay have gotten used to rather spend money on solething that could be worse.