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GTA IV didn't boost console sales, says analysts

Analysts predict a 30-39 per cent growth in software sales but say Rockstar's game didn't spur on Xbox 360 or PS3 sales

Analysts at Lazard Capital Markets and Wedbush Morgan secutities have said in their May NPD preview that Grand Theft Auto IV has not generated a meaningful increase in sales for either console - contradicting claims made by Microsoft and Sony - and that software sales for the month have increased in excess of 30 per cent.

Outlining predictions for the games industry ahead of the NPD results, the analysts Michael Pachter, of Wedbush Morgan, and Colin Sebastian of Lazard Capital Markets, predicted a 39 per cent and 30 percent growth in software sales respectively.

Both noted key titles for driving the sales such as Grand Theft Auto IV, Iron Man, Wii Fit, Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, and of Mario Kart Wii.

"Solid videogame software sales continued in May, and we expect roughly 30 per cent growth in console and handheld software for the month," Sebastian said.

However, he added, "We do not believe the recent release of GTA IV has generated meaningful incremental demand for the Xbox 360 or PS3 platforms"

The analysts further noted that price cuts could do more than GTA IV to boost console sales.

"Next generation console unit sales are running well ahead of the level in the analogous period of 2003 (when console prices averaged under USD 200), implying room for significant sales growth as price cuts are implemented," Pachter explained.

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