NPD figures won’t deliver pleasant when they are released on Thursday, according to Cowen & Company industry analyst Doug Creutz.
Speaking in a note to investors and acquired by Gamespot, Creutz expects total packaged game sales to slip 28% year-over-year.
However, he expects retail PC games sales to be up 101% year-over-year due in part to Mists of Pandaria’s release, which he expects to have moved 640,000 units with the majority of sales coming via digital which is not tracked by NPD.
Creutz predicts Madden NFL 13 will top the software charts with 2.16 million units, and Borderlands 2 coming in second with 1.57 million units moved.
For the rest of the year, Creutz believes the decline will continue for the remainder of 2012 despite the fall blockbuster season and the release of Wii U helping sales somewhat.
He also expects double-digit sales year-on-year in software through the end of 2012 due to “continued weakness” of Wii and the end to PS3 and Xbox 360’s lifecycle.
Creutz stands firm on a possible fall 2013 for next-gen consoles from Sony and Microsoft.