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Analysts predict flat software sales for March

Pachter and Divnich agree on lukewarm verdict for NPD results

Ahead of the release of the NPD software and hardware sales results for March later this week, both Wedbush Morgan's Michael Pachter and EEDAR's Jesse Divnich have released preview notes predicting that software sales for the month will hit virtually the same amount as in 2008.

If so, that will buck a long-standing growth trend for the games industry in the US, although as Pachter outlines, "March and April present difficult comparisons, with Nintendo's Super Smash Bros Brawl for Wii selling 2.7 million units in March 2008, and Take-Two's Grand Theft Auto IV selling over 2.8 million units in April 2008."

Meanwhile Divnich added: "The lack of a sales increase was primarily driven by the next-generation home and portable software titles. Unit sales are likely to increase by 2 per cent over last year with a 2 per cent decrease in the average selling price (ASP). We believe the weak retail environment is to blame for the year-over-year decrease in ASPs."

In terms of hardware, however, both analysts expect continued growth for next-gen consoles, with Pachter predicting a 25 per cent rise on sell-though for the Wii, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 combined, while Divnich forecasts a more modest 14 per cent rise.

NPD results are expected on Thursday, and GamesIndustry.biz will publish the numbers as soon as the results are in.

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Phil Elliott avatar

Phil Elliott