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Analysts Predict January NPD Numbers

2006 was a huge year for the gaming industry; in fact, the NPD reported record numbers for the year, much to the contentment of investors. And now, analysts have revealed their predictions for the first month of 2007, complete with a wide variety of thoughts and opinions.

While they do all agree that January 2007 will be up over January 2006, some think it'll be a large increase, while others expect only a marginal increase. In a letter to investors today, Pacific Crest Securities' Evan Wilson predicted sales to be up 13% over the same month last year, ultimately totaling about $405 million. He believes the increase will be attributed to next-gen software and "continued strength" in sales for old consoles as well.

On the other hand, Wedbush Morgan Securities' Michael Pachter thinks we'll see a huge 32% growth to $475 million. Both analysts did make mention of the fact that they're looking at five weeks rather than just four for January 2006, but as you can see, they differ greatly on their predictions. Pachter thinks his number could be accurate if December's solid PS2 hardware sales leads to increased PS2 software sales in January.

Pachter further predicted a low attach rate of 1.5 new games sold per PS3 and Wii in January - which may or may not turn out to be accurate - so the actual growth might be even bigger. Overall, the analyst believes January will mark the first month where next-gen software sales top current-gen software sales. Yes indeed, the new generation is here in all its glory! How much more will the industry grow in 2007 and beyond...?

2/12/2007 Ben Dutka

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