Industry analysts are predicting an 8-15 percent decline in US hardware and software sales ahead of June’s NPD figures.
Wedbush Morgan’s Michael Pachter expects an 8 percent decline, Colin Sebastian forecasts a 15 percent drop, and both agree Red Dead Redemption and Super Mario Galaxy 2 will be top sellers.
“We forecast software sales of $575 million, down 8 percent compared to last year’s $627 million,” said Pachter in a note released today.
“Despite improved June hardware sales of Xbox 360 and PS3, we expect June software sales to be down due to a difficult dollar comparison, a disappointing May (up only 4 percent despite a strong release slate), and a lackluster release slate.”
Pachter believes the release of the new 250Gb Xbox 360 will be the principle element for a June hardware increase, with Red Dead Redemption and Super Mario Galaxy 2 topping the software charts again this month.
Lazard Capital Group’s Colin Sebastian, however, is less optimistic and predicts an overall decline of 15 percent.
“Beyond ongoing sluggish game sales, the primary reason for the decline in sales is the lack of significant new releases during the month,” he said. “While catalog sales of Red Dead Redemption remain healthy, according to our retail checks, we believe that sales were a bit soft for newer releases, including Blur and Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 11.”
Still, Sebastian predicts software sales will be up by 15 percent, and hardware sales for June will be “stable” year-over-year.
“Our checks also suggest somewhat improving availability of PS3 hardware, while the new 360 Slim and steady sales of Nintendo’s Wii should generate flat to slightly higher hardware sales versus May,” he said. “We do not expect a significant increase in handheld unit sales until the launch of the Nintendo 3DS (we expect Q4 in Japan and Q1-2011 in North America).”
NPD figures for May showed the third best-selling May on record, yet industry sales were down 10 percent year-on-year in May, and down 5 percent over April.
Total sales came in at approximately $823.5M, which contradicted analyst’s bullish predictions for the month.
NPD will release its June figures this Thursday, July 15.