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Wii to lead January hardware sales

The Nintendo Wii is expected to have outsold the PlayStation 3 in the US by 200,000 units in the last month, according to Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter.

The Nintendo Wii is expected to have outsold the PlayStation 3 in the US by 200,000 units in the last month, according to Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter.

And now that all the next-generations hardware is finally on the shelves, January 2007 is expected to be the first month that next-gen software will have outsold titles for last-gen systems such as the PlayStation 2.

"Our forecast presumes sell through rates of 300,000 PS3 and 500,000 Wii hardware systems, with an attach rate of 1.5 software units," said Pachter.

"Even at these low attach rates, we expect January next-generation software sales to exceed current-generation software sales for the first time."

Ahead of the release of official figures this Thursday, Wedbush Morgan estimates sales of console software in North America to have reached US $475 million (EUR 365m), up 32 per cent compared to last year's US $359 million (EUR 276m).

"We believe our estimate is quite conservative, as it is based on modest sales forecasts for the PS3 and Wii," commented Pachter.

He added: "It is important to note that January 2007 was a five-week period, compared to a four-week January last year."

The growth in next-generation sales my be gradual, but as Pachter notes, it is offsetting the decline in current generation hardware and software.

"Sales growth over the last seven months of 2006 averaged a robust 12 per cent, and we continue to believe the contribution from next-generation software sales will continue to grow on a year-over-year basis throughout 2007, more than offsetting moderate declines in current-generation software sales," he said.

The analyst also expects February to see software growth of over 25 per cent, leading to increased share appreciation for the major games publishers.

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Matt Martin

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Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.