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Analysts Predict Over $2.2 Billion In Holiday Sales

Ahead of NPD's December U.S. hardware and software sales report expected Jan. 17, Wedbush Morgan's Michael Pachter and fantasy market simExchange have predicted between $2.2 and $2.5 billion in holiday sales, led by the Wii and Super Mario Galaxy.
Ahead of NPD's December U.S. hardware and software sales report expected Jan. 17, Wedbush Morgan's Michael Pachter and fantasy market simExchange have predicted between $2.2 and $2.5 billion in holiday sales, led by the Wii and Super Mario Galaxy. Pachter has predicted sales will rise 28 percent over 2006 to $2.2 billion, though he admits that -- following a $1.3 billion November -- "December has never yielded results lower than 2x the results in November (at least since 2000)... we are prepared to be spectacularly wrong with our forecast should the historical pattern hold this month." Pachter expects console sales to be led be led by the Wii, with 1.45 million units, followed by 1.25 million Xbox 360s and 857,000 PS3s. By comparison, simExchange has said it expects 1.73 million Wiis, 1.45 million 360s and 854,000 PS3s. Turning to handhelds, SimExchange further predicts the DS will be the true hardware leader, with 2.9 million units sold over December, and 1.03 million units of Sony's PSP. Pachter has released estimates of 2.45 million and 1.08 million, respectively. On the software side, Pachter believes sales will be driven by Super Mario Galaxy, Wii Play, Call of Duty 4, Guitar Hero III, Rock Band, WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008, and Assassin’s Creed. SimExchange's list looks somewhat similar, with tracking also noted for a number of other recent releases: Super Mario Galaxy (Wii) 1,260,000 units Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (Xbox 360) 1,050,000 units Mass Effect (Xbox 360) 505,000 units Mario Party DS (DS) 353,000 units Uncharted: Drake's Fortune (PS3) 142,000 units Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles (Wii) 126,000 units Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings (DS) 109,000 units Half-Life 2: The Orange Box (PS3) 103,000 units Nights: Journey of Dreams (Wii) 82,000 units TimeShift (PS3) 33,000 units Concluded Pachter, "While next generation hardware unit sales are more modest than they were in the analogous period of 2002 (when console prices averaged under $200), recent price cuts and new hardware (slim PSP and the 40Gb PS3) and the release of key games (Halo 3 and Guitar Hero III) triggered a spike in hardware sales over the last few months that we believe will continue in December and into early 2008."

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