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2010 sales flat, 2011 up 13% says Wedbush

Pachter's outfit optimistic about 3DS and expects Wii HD soon

Analyst Wedbush Securities has altered its predictions for the videogame industry over the next few years, following a fairly troubling set of figures from the most recent NPD results.

Michael Patchter's outfit had previously predicted 5 per cent growth for 2010, but Wedbush now claim sales will remain flat for the rest of this year.

However, its outlook for 2011 and beyond is more rosy. Patchter forecast 13 per cent growth next year, up from his original estimate of 7 per cent. 2012 and 2013 remain unchanged at 8 per cent and 6 per cent respectively.

"We adjusted our forecast downward for 2010 due to disappointing year-to-date results and our new belief that console price cuts later this year are highly unlikely," said Pachter.

"The primary driver for sales growth in 2011 – 2013 is the introduction of the Nintendo 3DS, which we expect to spur hardware and software sales dramatically for the next two years."

Wedbush expect DS sales to decline this year, but believe the release of the 3DS will push up DS range software prices to an average of $29.

The forecast also predicted price-cuts from all three current-generation home consoles, leading to sales increases of 15 per cent for the Xbox 360, 21 per cent for the PS3 and 5 per cent for the Wii.

Additionally, the release of highly-anticipated Blizzard products World of Warcraft: Cataclysm and Starcraft will push up PC sales by 11 per cent, claimed Wedbush.

Pachter and Wedbush "continue to believe that no new consoles (other than the Wii HD) will be introduced in the next four years." However, the report did not contain predictions for Microsoft's Kinect or Sony's PlayStation Move.

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Alec Meer

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A 10-year veteran of scribbling about video games, Alec primarily writes for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, but given any opportunity he will escape his keyboard and mouse ghetto to write about any and all formats.

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