This Thursday the NPD Group will publish its December sales report and according to Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter the news will not be cheerful. The decline of Call of Duty and Nintendo's inability to spark strong sales are just two key areas of concern for the analyst.
GI.Biz reports that Pachter places software sales decline at 11% for the year - a dip he attributed to "continuing gamer fatigue and sustained Nintendo weakness."
Call of Duty sales are down 20% with Black Ops 2 marking the beginning of a clearly visible downturn, and that Halo 4 - Pachter said - has failed to meet "lofty expectations." Elsewhere the Wii U suffered what Pachter called an "underwhelming launch" and that Nintendo has been weak overall throughout 2012, a sentiment echoed by Wii U titles failing to reach the upper tier of the UK charts. That said, Pachter stated that Wii U sales in the US were up 59% in December with 675,000 units shifted for the month.
Surprisingly, Pachter stated, "It is clear to us that those companies who primarily focused on traditional gamers were largely unscathed by the declines over the last few years, and those same companies will disproportionately benefit once traditional gamers drive industry sales into positive territory in 2014 and beyond."
It's strange that this quote should come today, the same day that Nvidia unveiled its Project Shield console, new rumours regarding a Valve console surfaced and where pundits have called time on the home console market, saying that the time of - as Pachter puts it - 'traditional gamers' is coming to pass.
That said, Pachter predicts big sales for BioShock Infinite, Dead Space 3 and a little game called GTA 5, but feels that the decline will continue until the launch of next-gen formats, which is when Pachter says we'll see the industry dust itself off once more. He predicted the turnaround would truly kick off in 2014.
Pachter said this will likely be down to publishers releasing an, "unprecedented number of new IP launches in the first two years of the cycle, providing relief from gamer fatigue."
Now over to you readers. Is Pachter speaking sense, or is there no real cause for concern. Let us know what you think below.