Wedbush Morgan's Michael Pachter has predicted a 20 percent rise in game sales for February's upcoming NPD U.S. charts to $415 million, on continued strong sales of Guitar Hero II as well as MLB 2K7, Virtua Fighter 5, and Crackdown.
Ahead of NPD's results expected March 15th, Pachter says $240 million of the sales figures will be contributed by new platforms (PS3, Wii, 360, PSP and DS), showing a 141 percent rise over 2006, with current generation software sales falling 29 percent to $175 million.
Pachter has also predicted the Wii will once again outsell the PlayStation 3, with 350,000 units predicted for Nintendo's console and 200,000 units for Sony's own. The PlayStation 2, however, will likely see continued strong software sales, says Pachter, of as much as $120 million, reflecting only "modest year-over-year declines (approximately 20%) for the first half of 2007."
Pachter expects that PS3 sales will stabilize at 50,000 units per week "now that consumers are aware of the supply situation (we have seen modest advertising recently)," which might increase as more game titles are delivered. He also has good hopes for Blu-ray content to drive hardware sales, especially with November's release of Spider-Man 3: The Movie.
Also noted is that estimates include $70 million in software sales for the PS3 and Wii alone, based on a tie ration of 2.4 units per each system, compared to last month's 2.2 for the Wii and 2.7 for the PS3.
The software sales will be driven, says Pachter by Guitar Hero II and other continued holiday hits, as well as top February releases including MLB 2K7, Virtua Fighter 5, Crackdown, and The Sims 2: Seasons. Though just five titles sold more than 100k units in February of 2006, Pachter says he expects seven to do so this month, down slightly from 10 in January.
Pachter concludes by saying that he expects the December quarter results and strong holiday and January sales to continue through the March quarter, with recent weakness in publisher stocks due to uncertainty more than performance, as well as anecdotal evidence of poor PS3 hardware sales, and adds that "investors should remain comfortable owning video game publisher stocks."