The US games business bounced back in September, with price cuts and strong product helping drive positive growth after six months of sliding sales.
That's according to two leading analysts, who both predicted that growth was back in double digits during the month – with Sony's PlayStation 3 leading hardware, and games including Wii Sports Resort, The Beatles: Rock Band and Halo 3: ODST keeping tills ringing.
But a price cut late in the month couldn't stop the slide of Nintendo's Wii, said Wedbush Morgan's Michael Pachter, who predicted the console sold 390,000 units in September, down 43 per cent on the same period last year.
Xbox 360 could post a marginal increase of 1 per cent to 350,000 units, while Sony's PlayStation 3 could have climbed by as much as 76 per cent on last year, with 410,000 units sold.
Pachter put DS sales at 650,000, up 21 per cent, and PSP sales down 22 per cent to 185,000 units.
EEDAR's Jesse Divnich was equally upbeat on PS3 sales, with an expected 400,000 sold, up 72 per cent, and Xbox 360 sales up to 370,000, or seven per cent. Nintendo's Wii dropped off to 375,000 units said Divnich.
The big software winners were from Microsoft, EA, Nintendo and Eidos, said Divnich, with an estimated 1.8 million Halo 3: ODST sales, and The Beatles: Rock Band, Wii Sports Resort, Batman: Arkham Asylum, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2, Madden NFL 10 and Guitar Hero 5 all hogging the top ten best-selling list for the month.
Pachter expects entire September software sales will be up 21 per cent to USD 750 million. Although combined hardware sales may be down 5 per cent on September 2008, it's still a "substantial rebound" compared to the average 19 per cent decline over the prior five months, noted Pachter.
Both analysts were speaking ahead of the NPD Group's sales data, to be released October 15.