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Analyst Predicts 25% October Increase

The holidays are almost upon us, and although the industry-tracking NPD Group won't likely release their figures for the first part of the year-end sales blitz until next week, one analyst is being proactive and issuing his own projections.

Pacific Crest Securities' analyst Evan Wilson apparently had a chance to preview the NPD figures in a note to investors today, and he's clearly encouraged. He expects the combined U.S. console and handheld sales for October to be up 25% year-over-year ($365 million to $456 million), which is a pretty impressive increase. However, it does fall shy of the 2004 increase, when the release of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas launched revenue through the roof to $479 million.

Wilson attributed the 2006 boost to an increase in spending on hte PS2, growth in the DS market, and the addition of Xbox 360 sales. For the year in total, Wilson expects to see a growth in the U.S. industry of about 9.6%

In regards to the upcoming console launches, Wilson altered his previous expectations just a bit in terms of the tie-in ratio (the number of games sold per console). He predicts 2.6 games sold for every PS3 and 3.8 for every Wii. And while he did mention the outstanding 4.1 tie-in ratio for the 360 last year, he quickly pointed out the mandatory bundles from retail preorders and online sales that assisted in increasing that number.

11/3/2006 Ben Dutka

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