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Another Analyst Predicts Even Bigger November

Yesterday, we delivered the news that industry analyst Michael Pachter expected a 12% leap in software sales for November. Today, one other analyst went even higher, predicting a 16% jump from November 2005. The NPD Group will release the official numbers at some point later this week.

Pacific Crest Securities' Evan Wilson is the latest positive thinker, and has a good reason for tossing up the 16% forecast. "November had a very strong release schedule compared with last year and last month," Wilson said in a note to investors. Much like Pachter, he was quick to mention the likes of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Gears of War, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Double Agent, and Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas.

The Xbox 360 did launch in November of 2005, but the software lineup for the month didn't include many blockbuster games, if any. The biggest sellers for the month weren't games like Perfect Dark Zero or Project Gotham Racing 3, but the best-selling games were Call of Duty 2, Need for Speed Most Wanted, and WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2006.

And although the launches of PS3 and the Wii didn't sport many huge-selling titles, they did produce one each (Resistance: Fall of Man for the PS3 and Zelda for the Wii) that certainly did well. Besides, two console launches help to spur interest in the industry on the whole.

"The launches of the Nintendo Wii and PS3 were limited, but clearly drove incremental interest in video games, which has been furthered by heightened retailer promotion," said Wilson. "However, if November does not grow meaningfully, we believe it could signal a difficult holiday season for the publishers."

12/6/2006 Ben Dutka

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