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Analysts: 'Hardware Storm' Could See Wii Sales Approach 1M Per Month

Analysts expect July NPD results will show that Wii sales have declined for the third month in a row -- but call it a "calm before the storm," ahead of a Fall-holiday season that could see Wii sales pushing 1 million units per month, along with possible X
Analysts say Wii supplies are higher now in U.S. stores than they've been in the past, and that while the upcoming July NPD results are expected to show a continuing summer decline for Wii sales, the console is set to storm retail once again in the Fall and holiday season. Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter says that Nintendo likely produced some 2.4 million Wiis in July, as part of a 25 million total ship goal for the fiscal year. Historically, says Pachter, the company's sent only about a third of its total production to the U.S. to date, resulting in a shortage. "We saw the shortage relax somewhat in April," says Pachter, citing 714,000 units sold through that month, followed by 675,000 in May, and 667,000 in June. Now, ahead of NPD reports for the month of July, Pachter predicts Wii sales might show a summer lull at 650,000 units sold -- but thereafter, sales of the console could start climbing for the million-per-month mark in August. "We expect the monthly figure to increase once the company is able to deploy its recent production increase to the U.S.," he says, "and we expect monthly sell-through to increase by as many as 300,000 units per month, beginning in August." Lazard Capital Markets analyst Colin Sebastian also expects the NPD to show a July decline in Wii sales, but calls it a "hardware calm before the storm" of the holiday season. Sebastian notes that Wii stock at overseas retailers also looks high. Sebastian also predicts Xbox 360 price cuts in the fall, in addition to "enhancements" to both PSP and DS.

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