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Analysts: Wii, Mario, CoD4, Rock Band To Lead January Sales

Ahead of NPD's February 14th report of U.S. software and hardware sales for January, analysts from Wedbush Morgan and simExchange have called for another Wii and DS-led month, with total sales down slightly from the year prior to approximately $500 millio
Ahead of NPD's February 14th report of U.S. software and hardware sales for January, analysts from Wedbush Morgan and simExchange have called for a Wii-led month, with total sales down slightly from the year prior to approximately $500 million. Last year's January sales report, however, was five weeks to this year's four, and, adjusted for the difference, says Wedbush's Michael Pachter, sales would actually be up 14 percent, rather than down its predicted 9 percent. Pachter expects January software sales to be driven by Super Mario Galaxy, Wii Play, Call of Duty 4, Guitar Hero III and Rock Band, with a light monthly release schedule topped mainly be Burnout Paradise and Advance Wars: Days of Ruin. Both Pachter and fantasy market simExchange have released their predictions for hardware sales, which breaks down as follows: Wedbush Morgan Wii - 420,000 DS - 350,000 Xbox 360 - 290,000 PS3 - 240,000 PSP - 200,000 PS2 - 190,000 GBA - 5,000 simExchange DS - 460,000 Wii - 403,000 Xbox 360 - 289,000 PSP - 250,000 PS3 - 200,000 Concluded Pachter, "While next generation console unit sales are more modest than they were in the analogous period of 2002 (when console prices averaged under $200), recent price cuts, greater handheld hardware sales, and new product introductions (slim PSP and the 40Gb PS3) along with 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 into 2008."

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