Did Nintendo save Christmas? With NPD numbers soon to be revealed on the crucial December 2008 sales month, analyst Jesse Divnich says Nintendo carried the bulk of the expected 14 percent year-over-year holiday growth in software sales on its shoulders.
All next-gen systems excluding the PSP are expected to post double digit year-over-year software growth, says Electronic Entertainment Design and Research's Divnich -- but Nintendo led the way, to say the least.
"Nintendo Wii and DS software unit and dollar sales will account for over 50 percent of all games sold in December," Divnich says. "Without these sales, the industry would have likely felt the full wrath of the recession."
"We believe their simple-to-use design, cheaper and wider variety of software titles, and the 'hot effect' [already] in place on both systems all played a role in driving both the Wii and the DS to the top of their segments," says Divnich. "Simply put, Nintendo saved Christmas."
Divinch expects December software sales to come in at about $2.7 billion, a 14 percent year-over-year increase, while a modest increase in average selling price means that unit sales are up about 12 percent.
"We believe that heavy retail discounting, an increased competitive environment, and a greater than expected surge in DS and Wii game sales all played a significant role in driving down the yearly ASP growth," says Divnich.