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NPD: Analysts expect over 20% software growth for August

Monthly US performance buoyed by Madden and Too Human

Wedbush Morgan's Michael Pachter and Jesse Divnich of EEDAR have both released their analyst predictions for August's NPD results, which are due to be released on Thursday this week.

Both analysts believe that the year-on-year growth in software sales will be in the region of 22 per cent, with hardware sales once again dominated by the Nintendo Wii and DS consoles.

The key predictions from each analyst follow:

Michael Pachter, Wedbush Morgan

  • Software sales will hit USD 600 million, which represents a 23 per cent jump over the same month last year. That's USD 535 million in next-gen titles and USD 65 million on ex-gen games.
  • PlayStation 2 software sales will decline by 39 per cent year-on-year, and the decline will accelerate as more next-gen consoles are purchased.
  • Top software sellers in August will be: Madden NFL 09, Too Human and Super Mario Sluggers as well as continued sales from Soul Calibur IV, Wii Fit and Mario Kart Wii.
  • Nintendo DS and Wii sales will top the hardware chart, selling around 550,000 units apiece. The PlayStation 3 will outsell both the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation Portable, with 225,000 for the former and 200,000 for the latter pair.
  • Stronger Wii sales are expected in September following a significant production hike, while the recent price cut of Xbox consoles may have affected August sales slightly.

Jesse Divnich, EEDAR

  • Software sales are expected to hit USD 592 million, a 21 per cent increase year-on-year - but while August will be on of the year's smallest growth months, September will be a key challenge with the Halo 3 blip from last year.
  • August is expected to show a slight decline in sales over July, with the Nintendo DS outselling its rivals on 551,000, followed by 505,000 for the Wii. However, it's noted that a lower sales performance for the Wii wouldn't be a surprise due to lower hardware shipments.
  • The PSP will sell around 211,000, outselling both the PS3 on 201,000 and the Xbox 360 on 187,000.
  • Following the Xbox 360 price cuts, Sony has maintained that it will not drop prices through the Holiday season - although the Microsoft console has two compelling exclusives in Fable 2 and Gears of War 2. However, the PS3 will catch the Xbox 360 installed base at some point, but the rate depends on Sony's pricing stance - HDTV sales may be affected by wider economic conditions.

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