Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter has told GamesIndustry.biz that both publishers and industry observers have been "caught by surprise" by the level of recent growth.
Pachter's comments came after Wedbush raised its estimates for three major publishers. THQ's quarter 2 revenue estimate is up from USD 195 million to USD 205 million, while EA's rises from USD 670 million to USD 700 million. WM also increased the figure for Activision from USD 135 million to USD 145 million.
"In a nutshell, the publishers all based their forecasts on industry sales that would be flat to down 5 per cent this year," Pachter told GI.biz.
"We're at almost 6 per cent year-to-date growth, and all signs point to the next three months being up 8 to 10 per cent. That would cause the year to end up 8 per cent, and so most of the publishers were too conservative in their modelling.
"We've all been caught by surprise," he continued. "I think that the current generation consumer is not slowing purchases as drastically as most of us predicted, likely because he or she knows that they will not be getting a new console for Christmas."
Pachter went on to observe that the delayed release date of the PlayStation 3 in Europe means it's likely that "European holiday sales for PS2 software will continue to be strong".
He added: "As far as the Wii goes, I'm sure that many will buy one, but most don't want to wait another year to buy FIFA, Football Manager, Final Fantasy, Need for Speed, Splinter Cell, et cetera."