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NPD Preview: Analysts predict strong growth

July's figures should be up between 30-44%, according to the big three

The big three US analysts have released their predictions for July's NPD results, with growth to hit between 30-44 per cent over the same month last year.

Sales are expected to reach around USD 550-600 million, with strong contributions from the PlayStation 3, Wii and Xbox 360 platforms, and key titles selling well in the US market including NCAA Football, Guitar Hero, Wii Fit, Civilization and Soulcalibur IV.

The key points from each analyst's forecast are as follows, with the NPD data being released on Thursday.

Michael Pachter, Wedbush Morgan

  • Sales to hit USD 605 million, an increase of 44 per cent year-on-year.
  • USD 520 million of that figure will come from the PS3, Wii, Xbox 360, PlayStation Portable and Nintendo DS platforms, with PlayStation 2 sales declining 29 per cent over last year's July numbers.
  • Next-gen hardware sales will be led by the Wii on 650,000 units, followed by the Xbox 360 on 275,000 and the PS3 on 250,000 units each - due to stock availability for the Wii, and the price point reduction on the Xbox 360 20GB SKU.

Colin Sebastian, Lazard Capital Markets

  • Sales to increase 30-35 per cent year-on-year - a decline on sales from June but the 15th consecutive month of double-digit growth.
  • Top-selling titles will include NCAA Football (EA), Guitar Hero (Activision Blizzard), Wii Fit (Nintendo), Civilization (Take-Two) and Soulcalibur IV (Namco Bandai).
  • A sequential decline in Wii sales is possible indicating a pre-holiday inventory build rather than a demand issue. Hardware announcements in the Fall should include price cuts for the Xbox 360 and enhancements to the PSP and DS handhelds.

Jesse Divnich, EEDAR

  • Sales should hit USD 601 million, a 43 per cent increase on July 2007, largely thanks to strong NCAA Football sales and the Xbox 360 price cut advertising.
  • The DS and Wii will continue to lead the hardware sales figures, with the Xbox 360 eking out an advantage over the rest due to the price cut. However, by the third week of the month the impact had slowed.
  • The DS should sell 625,445 units, the Wii 612,545. The Xbox 360 should come in at 325,488, while the PS3 hits 275,444 and the PSP 235,447.

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