According to analyst predictions appearing before official NPD statistics later this week, retail tallies for the U.S. console game software industry may have fallen by around 20 percent for the month of September 2005 compared to the year previous. However, analysts aren't worried that the dip in revenue will affect the overall yearly sales, with the holiday season take making up for September's shortfall.
Total sales for console games in the U.S. in September may be around $365 million, down from September 2004's $458 million, according to predictions made by Wedbush Morgan Securities analyst Michael Pachter, with a similar drop expected for October. However, Pachter also predicts that the launch of Microsoft's Xbox 360 in late November will provide a small boost for that month and a large one for December, enough to put console game sales for the year 9 percent over 2005's.
The Xbox 360's imminent arrival may be one reason for the soft two months, as consumers slow their buying and save for the new system, preorders for which can run at a minimum of $700 due to the newly commonplace "bundling" effect at chain software retailers such as the newly merged Electronics Boutique and GameStop.
Though the September take is believed to be down, at least until the official ratings prove otherwise, Pachter predicted higher September sales for a few of the larger console game software publishers, including a 2% rise for Electronic Arts and 4 percent for Activision Inc. Take-Two Interactive, however, is expected to see a 24% drop from September 2004, according to Pachter.