Leading European videogame retailer GAME Group has issued a trading update which confirms the company's predictions that the first half of 2004 would see a market decline, but the firm expects strong performance in the second half.
The group reported a like-for-like sales decline of 14 per cent during the first 22 weeks of its current financial year, which brings the company up to July 3rd, and translates as a nine per cent overall decline in sales for the period.
This is in line with expectations laid out by GAME in April, when the company told investors that it was expecting the bulk of the year's major releases to arrive in the second half, while last year's first half was unusually strong due to the arrival of Game Boy Advance SP.
In this morning's statement, GAME Group chairman Peter Lewis expressed the company's confidence in the line-up of software scheduled for the second half of the year - highlighting Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Halo 2, Gran Turismo 4, The Getaway 2, Half Life 2 and Doom 3 as key drivers for consumer demand.
Interestingly, Lewis also noted that the retailer expects both the PlayStation 2 and the Xbox to receive price cuts in autumn, which will bring them to a selling value of around Ã'Â£100. GAME is obviously anticipating that next Christmas' console battle will see a price point of Ã'Â£99 for both platforms, with Nintendo sticking to its current Ã'Â£79 tag.