Analyst: Rising Software Sales To Continue
It's been pretty consistent over the past few years, and now, one analyst sees the year-over-year percentage increases in the U.S. continuing through September.
According to Wedbush Morgan Securities' Michael Pachter, the September figures should be up 19.6% over the figures for the same month a year ago. In 2006, June, July, and August all ended up with annual percentage increases in the teens, and September should be even stronger.
In a memo released yesterday, Pachter said he expects console software sales in the U.S. to hit $415 million for the month, which is very similar to Pacific Crest Securities analyst Evan Wilson's prediction, provided last week. Wilson expected $412 million, which roughly translates to about 19% over September 2005. NPD Group, the primary industry tracker, should release the finalized September numbers this week.
Pachter elaborates by stating he expects the total September revenue to rely on two big new releases: Saint's Row by THQ and Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy by LucasArts. He believes this powerhouse couple will share top sales honors with the ever-present EA sports titles (NBA Live '07 and Madden NFL '07).
In terms of U.S. consumer console preference, Pachter expects about $168 million of the predicted $415 million to come from the new platforms (Xbox 360, PSP, Nintendo DS). This facet of the industry has seen a decent year-over-year growth of $130 million. On the other hand, sales of last-gen software are not surprisingly on the decline; Pachter predicts software sales for those now out-of-date consoles to be down as much as 20% from September 2005.
In conclusion, Pachter summed up the overall picture for the industry as "stable and, in fact, fairly healthy." With the imminent arrival of the Nintendo Wii and Sony PlayStation 3, the analyst expects them to bring in $432 million in software sales from each launch through the end of the year. And overall, he predicts a rise in game sales of 4% over 2005, which Wilson initially agreed with. However, since last week, the other analyst has revised his prediction to a much higher 9.6%
Either way, it's good to know we're supporting a "healthy" industry.
10/10/2006 Ben Dutka