Activision raises guidance on PS3 hopes

Following a gangbusters holiday, publisher raises revenue predictions by $30M after reexamining the console's European launch; PS2 Downhill Jam, DS and Wii Guitar Hero announced.

Two weeks after Activision first issued a preliminary earnings report announcing it had a record holiday season, it has increased guidance for the current quarter. On January 25, Activision predicted it would take in $170 million in revenue during the January to March 2007 quarter, the fourth in its 2007 fiscal year. Today, the company increased that number to $200 million.

Speaking to analysts in a conference call, Activision CFO Thomas Tippl said that "better visibility regarding the allocation of PlayStation 3 hardware" was the main reason for the revision. Later, Tippl expanded on that statement, saying Activision had received "more specific information...from Sony on how their units are going to break out" for the console's March 2007 launch in Europe. "We have reflected that in our updated guidance," he said.

But while $200 million is a solid figure for a traditionally slow time, it was just a fraction of Activision's record-setting haul during the October to December 2006 quarter. By the company's estimates, it racked up $822.8 million between October 1 and December 31, 2006, besting the $816.2 million in revenue during the same quarter in 2005. It expects quarterly net income--that is, profit--to rise some 84 percent year on year, going from $67.9 million to $124.8 million. The figures remain preliminary pending an investigation into Activision's stock-option-grant practices.

In a conference call with analysts, Activision Publishing president and CEO Mike Griffith showered praise on his company's bread-and-butter franchises, Call of Duty and Tony Hawk. According to NPD, Call of Duty 3 racked up more than $85.8 million in US sales from its release in November until the end of the year. Activision said it also took in more than $10 million from international sales of Call of Duty 2 map packs on Xbox Live Marketplace during the quarter.

US 2006 sales of Tony Hawk's Project 8 exceeded $43.9 million, while Tony Hawk's Downhill Jam eked out just over $9 million. Despite the latter's lackluster numbers, Activision also announced it was porting the game to the PlayStation 2 during the April to June 2007 quarter.

Above all, though, Griffith singled out Guitar Hero II for particular praise. Despite only being released on one platform--the PS2--the game headbanged out more than $93.6 million in the US alone in 2006, according to NPD. Griffith credited the game's success to an extensive publicity campaign, which includes some 7,500 demo kiosks, and better-than-expected sales of the PS2.

"The PS2's success certainly benefited Guitar Hero and, you know, some would say Guitar Hero maybe benefited the PlayStation 2 platform as well," he said. Griffith also said he expects the PS2 to have surprising longevity. "If you look back at the PSone, when they got down to that $79 price point that year they sold 2.5 million units and there's a long way to go still on the PS2's price point."

Griffith also gave his company's predictions on how the 2007 console race will shape up. Activision's current estimates peg the Xbox 360 as selling 5 million units in North American during the calendar year. The publisher has the Wii, PS2, and PS3 tied at 4 million apiece. The company also said it expects "10 million handhelds" to be bought on the continent during the next 12 months, though no platform was specified. Activision also expects the $59 price carried by most third-party PS3 and 360 games to hold, as will the $49 sticker slapped on Wii games.

For the company's 2008 fiscal year, which begins on April 1, Griffith said Activision will have 60 individual products, or SKUs, which would "aggressively target the Nintendo platforms." He said the company "will be focusing on our most successful franchises--Call of Duty, Tony Hawk, and Guitar Hero," though he stopped short of announcing specific new titles. Griffith did, however, say that Guitar Hero titles are coming to the Wii and DS.

The first quarter of Activision's FY2008 has 360 Guitar Hero II and Call of Duty: Roads of Victory scheduled to ship. It is also the tentative launch window of the long-in-the-making PC shooter Quake Wars: Enemy Territory. Finally, the quarter will see the release of a wide spread of cross-platform games based on three films: Spider-Man 3, Transformers, and Shrek the Third.

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243 comments
stfolife
stfolife

"A PS3 = $600 Taco bell's 3 taco combination = $6.00 Donating a PS3 to the boys and girls club = free tacos for life (almost) I have a PS3 and I might considering to donating it already... mmm tacos..." wait are u serious if you are then goodbyyeeeeeeeee ps3

samad5
samad5

Ron Jeremy in 1080p! Oh my God! Quick get me outta here!

TimoTheThug
TimoTheThug

Haha Samad5 you did come up with the only reason why we should be happy with the fact that the Porn industry didn't go with Sony and it's Blu-ray format. It would be even worse with 1080p :D lol

samad5
samad5

I've just had the most horrible thought. If the porn industry is going HD DVD could you imagine seeing the likes of Ron 'big' Jeremy in true HD.....man my body is shimmering as we speak!

internetmovies
internetmovies

one last thing you said some movies were glitchy with blu-ray that's because of the hardware issue not a disk issue and I forget what issue or even what magazine it was in it was in like I think last months Sound&Audio but those issues are known and that only happens on early model Blu-Ray players and those companies have already found the solution and released newer players that don't cause any unstable video play...what's funny is they compared all these like $500+ players and had to laugh saying the PS3 performance video wise is just as good if not better even control wise. ya i'm not against HD-DVD either and i don't like how HDvsBlu ray has basically turned into a PS3vs360 war when it really shouldn't I just think in the future that extra storage space will be needed.

internetmovies
internetmovies

and TheNack I did read up on that yes and trust me that will never happen and as you can see already it isn't happening...and even if they dont have the pr0n lol blu-ray is still solid numbers right now for how new it is and it's staying even with HD-DVD and some weeks pulling ahead for not having the "head-start" blu-ray will become cheaper to produce and all that mamba-jamba that everyone says is holding it back but by the time a format is getting set to be chosen both formats will be really cheap to produce and then at that point companies are just going to look at the advantages and see that blu-ray even if it costs a tad more has the advantages and they'll just look ahead for the future companies look at the "big picture" most the time meaning they look ahead. and looking ahead means in the future that extra 20+gb of disk space will be needed.

internetmovies
internetmovies

trigun i'm not entirely basing it on "porn" but it is a hard true fact statement because porn is always going to be one of the largest video distributing networks like it or not millions and millions of DVDs sell every year under the category "pornography" so yes it is a valid statement.

trigun123
trigun123

someone please shoot internet movies, how can you take someone seriousely who is basing there argument on porn?

ChaosXeno
ChaosXeno

Yuck foo your post is about HD-dvd and blu-ray being neck to neck in sales correct? thats the exact point. Hd-dvd had a head start, if they are neck to neck atm that means blu-ray is literally slaughtering it.

SpeedMan72
SpeedMan72

but call of duty and tony hawk thats good.

SpeedMan72
SpeedMan72

but call of duty and tony hawk thats good.

thenack
thenack

Interesting indeed.... i guess i haven't been up to date....lol. thanks gizmo for pointing to that hd website. out of all my searching on google and yahoo i have never come across that one, but it looks like a great website for reference on the whole format war, and since the story about "no porn on blu ray" i have not found anything through my own searching to point otherwise. thanks again for that clear up.

thenack
thenack

"...the Blu-Ray hands down is going to beat out HD-DVD I mean come on the porn industry decided the last wars for us Beta vs VHS ..... DVD vs Laser Disk...and now Blu-Ray vs HD-dvd it sounds funny but seriously the porn industry is a big big business and the largest distributor has already chosen blu-ray as their first release format after DVD" hey internetmovies, i don't know if you will get to see this post, but you are right, the porn industry is a huge factor....but you are wrong, cause you obviously haven't been keeping up to date with your knowledge, cause Sony announced in January that it WILL NOT allow porn to be produced on blu-ray, and because of that, porn companies like digital playground, and vivid will be doing their stuff on hd-dvd. in fact if you were to go to digital playground's web site, they already have preorders for their hd-dvds. I myself, have been getting blu-rays and hd-dvds, and when i get my tax return back am just going to get the players, so i am impartial to it, but even though i will be supporting both, not everyone will, so i definitely keep a close eye on the format war for both movies and games. sorry bud, but from people that i've already talked to personally, that have both formats, say they prefer movies on hd-dvd, cause they are smoother, while blu-ray movies have been known to be kinda glitchy, and also freeze up on occasion. blu-ray's only x-factor is that it has a larger storage capacity, other than that they are identical as far as what they can do. Man I hate fanboy BS...but whatever!

internetmovies
internetmovies

ohhh and not to mention come on lets face it and this isn't even PS3 vs 360 here this is just common sense and down-right reasonable thinking...the Blu-Ray hands down is going to beat out HD-DVD I mean come on the porn industry decided the last wars for us Beta vs VHS ..... DVD vs Laser Disk...and now Blu-Ray vs HD-dvd it sounds funny but seriously the porn industry is a big big business and the largest distributor has already chosen blu-ray as their first release format after DVD ...and the other companies have chosen the same way...blu ray quality is just so much nicer it really is and the amount the disk can hold is a truly great advantage down the road with uncompressed formats for higher quality...if anything if blu-ray dont win it surely isn't going away it will just end up having to be a 2-way player for everyone where it will be a preference and most likely a lot of companies will just have to make 2-way players.

internetmovies
internetmovies

And exactly like the guy below said can we not even rate the PS3 on any of the launch titles for lord sakes.....they were all rushed we all know this they were all ported and badly rush ported and they really aren't even "THAT" bad but how bout let's wait here till the PS3 gets settled in and actually doesn't have to have rushed ports I mean look at the games at launch that weren't ports they look great and run great like resistance and ridge racer are both 2 good examples...obvlivion has already been previewed and said to look like a high end PC version if you look back at the 360 version and when they compared a high end pc vs. the 360 graphical wise you can tell the draw distance was basically cut in half and the ground textures were diminished highly...so as you can see when a port is correctly ported and worked on it can turn out nice on the PS3.... Motorstorm looks great.....demo is fun as hell and online will be fun ....Lair and Warhawk gamer previews so far have those 2 games as steady releases looking in the right direction...that after that of course GTA will be out and everyone will forget about any games and be playing that lol but for the PS3 owners we will have a hard time switching between GTA and Metal Gear..

internetmovies
internetmovies

LOL guys the PS3 may not catch up this year or next but it will be damn close to sales by 2 years from now and most likely eventually pass or stay even with the 360 but who cares anyways??? it will sell...regardless if it stays behind the 360 or not it don't matter the system isn't going anywhere it's only getting strong as us PS3 owners can see Sony is dedicated to the system and has been giving us strong updates on the PS3 and an expected larger update in march...and honestly look att the price...I will justify what I paid for I got a badass gaming machine....that does everything I want...I love how I can just plug in my SD-Cards into it and view pictures and show my family...I love the new layout that makes it far ahead of the PS2...I don't know who says the download service is slow???they must not own a PS3 because I downloaded the 500MB or so Motorstorm demo in 10 mins on my cable modem. There's little annoying things that I want like resumeable downloads....custom soundtrack in games....but you know what i'm not worried those will easily and most definantly be integrated in a downloadable update by Sony shortly i'm sure wouldn't be suprised if those 2 aspects are implimented in the march update...the only people worried about the PS3 failing is no one really it's just the fanboys fighting back and forth...anyone who actually owns a PS3 knows how good the system runs and how much potential it has and will recieve in a short time to get it on the right track all it really needs is some games...and those my friends are starting to show up starting in March and from there on out every month should have solid releases.

daniel665
daniel665

WHO BUYS PS3? is it people that want anything that is deemd as cool in a glossy magazine or is just what i suspect people that have no idea of value for money and no idea whats happening in the gaming industry. any ways please send me your posts as im curious to know. im off to play some games after a long day at work. thank god for pgr, gears, doa and pes online.

daniel665
daniel665

Man you ps3 guys are always trying to justify why you spent all that money on a console. rfom is a good launch game, blue ray is good quality but its the value for money people have got a problem with. i wanted a 360 when it was released because i wanted to play kameo.pgr3 and perfect dark zero. I bought one this christmas in a deal where i got 4new games and a controller for £340 pounds from game station. I honestly can say that with the games i have the games coming out i couldn't be bothered that ps3 is coming out over here in march. I know gears can't be compared to rfom but the fact is you do realise that ps3 are never gonna catch up. xbox taught us that. MS had enough money to lose a bit in their first foray in to the console market and have won me over to the white side. How do you people honestly not feel ripped off with the really poor lauch line up the price and the amount of good games that are coming out next year only on ps3. Ms have taken all sonys exclusives this year and all you can say is wait. what will happen is you will wait ps3 will come down drastically in price to try and m ake the most out of a bad situation and your loyalty will be rewarded by you losing alot of money. Have a look on ebay ps3 are already selling below market value for a good reason. i feel sorry for you guys to be honest as even though i could afford to have both i won't as i don't like feeling like ive been ripped off.

Bigboss232
Bigboss232

thor is stornger then super man and blue ray and dvd rule go ps3 go 360 go wii

Yuck_Too
Yuck_Too

I'll say it again... Wednesday, 07 February 2007 Blu-ray, HD-DVD Neck-and-Neck http://www.next-gen.biz/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=4698&Itemid=2 So that is one thing aspect of it...however here is the real kicker There were more then 10x as any DVD sales as HD-DVD and Blu-ray combined and that number is up 2% over last year. So much like the PS2 outsells all other consoles...DVD is kicking the #$%^ out of both "HD" formats combined 10 times over. That's the truth of it.

SeanBond
SeanBond

Saying Gears of War is over in 10 hours is kind of like saying Halo 2 is over once you finish the campaign. Honestly, single player in Gears of War is great, but has no one heard of playing games with other people? Try co-op (with a friend or even online), and THEN tell me you only play the game for a total of 10 hours. Try the online multiplayer, and then tell me the game's only worth 10 hours. Sony's online infostructure may be steaming crap, but for those who have Xbox Live, you'll find the replay value on games extends.

TorugotoShinsan
TorugotoShinsan

Gears takes less than 10 hours in Casual because Casual is like having the Locust run at you with nerf guns while you use nukes.. On Hardcore and Insane. It took me two weeks on Hardcore and insane...It's taken me all week to get halfway through Act . Although now I mainly play Gears online To stay on topic: It's nice to see that Activision are staying multiplatform. With the CoD3 sales on the 360 and PS3 then we should be seeing CoD4 soon.

samad5
samad5

puppiemaster: ''I must be getting old, Gears of War took me longer to do than 10 hours'' I'm afraid so!

ChaosXeno
ChaosXeno

George Gameguy those were launch titles for the ps3 meaning rush job ports of the original versions you see the difference in a game that wasn't rushed i.e. Oblivion which is now a fact looks and runs better than the 360 version.

puppiemaster
puppiemaster

I must be getting old, Gears of War took me longer to do than 10 hours

samad5
samad5

TTDog wrote "ChaosXeno TTdog mgs4 is using one whole side of a blu-ray disc." If its anything like the other MGS games, that'll be just the opening cut scene, whatever happened to games you can play rather than watch for hours''. What like Gears of War? All over within 10 hours.

TTDog
TTDog

"ChaosXeno: TTdog mgs4 is using one whole side of a blu-ray disc." If its anything like the other MGS games, that'll be just the opening cut scene, whatever happened to games you can play rather than watch for hours.

waleywu_basic
waleywu_basic

>I think its cool that Activision points out they expect higher sales >from the Xbox 360, but I don't think they should make predictions about the Playstation 3, . . Brilliant post, George, yeah, they should predict 360's good sale, but they shouldn't prediction good PS3 sale? give yourself a round of applause for that. Gotta love the oh-so-obvious double standard from fanboys

SeanBond
SeanBond

"Yo George maybe you forgot they were ports of 360 games. The dev for each console is diferent especially on PS3. Gears exclusive on 360 looked great. Now imagine a game like MGS4, FFXIII, Drake's Fortune, Lair, Motorstorm... Hey I can go all day long. Imagine those PS3 exclusives tailor made for PS3. Yeah I know, it blows your past dwelling mind." It's probably better that he dwells in the past (with games that actually came out), rather than dwell in the future ("WAIT AND SEE!!!!") like Sony fanboys and their 4-D, future-proof console...

pencilpusher69
pencilpusher69

"Stucazzo Pencilpusher 69: I believe EGM said that the reason why the PS3's blue ray had a better picture than 360's HDDVD was because of the quality of the External DVD player. They also said that there are better quality HD-DVD players on the market." Ah, that would make sense. Also, as someone else pointed out, this isn't the leap of quality, that you had from VHS to DVD. Put up HD-DVD and Blu-ray next to eachother without freeze framing, and I would bet anything that in a comparison test, people would be wrong 50 percent of the time, as to which is which. This is the stupidest debate ever, something that only guys who count bits and bytes would ever worry about, because they worry about on paper battles. As for me, I'll buy one of them, in maybe 5 years. Until DVD is gone, screw this crap, I don't need it and it doesn't do anything to make anybody's life better. It's like arguing who's stronger, Thor, or Superman.

wildsnipe
wildsnipe

Yo George maybe you forgot they were ports of 360 games. The dev for each console is diferent especially on PS3. Gears exclusive on 360 looked great. Now imagine a game like MGS4, FFXIII, Drake's Fortune, Lair, Motorstorm... Hey I can go all day long. Imagine those PS3 exclusives tailor made for PS3. Yeah I know, it blows your past dwelling mind.

George_GameGuy
George_GameGuy

I think its cool that Activision points out they expect higher sales from the Xbox 360, but I don't think they should make predictions about the Playstation 3, because the software being offered for the Playstation 3 is disappointing. For example, look at two of Activisions games on both systems: 1. Tony Hawk Project 8 is on both the Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3. The Playstation 3 version does not include online play. The Xbox 360 version does include online play. The other thing that puts the Playstation 3 at a big disadvantage is the fact that the Xbox 360 version of Tony Hawk Project 8 has so much better graphics, especially in the area of lighting and overall texture quality. 2. Call of Duty 3 is on both the Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3. But, the Xbox 360 version has a much smoother framerate at 60 frames per second. The Playstation 3 tries to have the framerate that smooth, but it often freezes and gets very choppy because the Playstation 3 is so difficult to develop games for that the developers could not access the necessary power to make the game as good as the Xbox 360 version. I think Activision will be disappointed by a lot of those expectations for the PS3 because all of this information is much more common now for the European PS3 release than it was for the North America release which happened before the games could be reviewed. And many of those games were already released on the Xbox 360, and people thought the PS3 version would be of similar quality, but they were actually disappointed when they got home and realized that the Playstation 3 versions were not as good.

BILLNYE6983
BILLNYE6983

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

piecake
piecake

it doesn't sounf good!

ChaosXeno
ChaosXeno

oh yea and just read IGN they say it too but I'm done.

ChaosXeno
ChaosXeno

Autolycus yea you just proved your point you get your info from how long ago. My article has stated that they are now neutral and the numbers of HD-dvd units sold so that can't be too old can it now? Here is also a recent update on Blu-ray surpassing HD-dvd http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=117 Heres another Article Read up http://techreport.com/onearticle.x/11782 and here more http://episteme.arstechnica.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/48409524/m/133000223831 Please get off of you www.msfanboys/bilgates4life.net websites I can show you more but thats that.

zintarr
zintarr

"Good, now if Sony happens to fail, they'll take Activision with them. Sweet. " That about sums it up :)

chibi-acer
chibi-acer

Good, now if Sony happens to fail, they'll take Activision with them. Sweet.

Autolycus
Autolycus

ChaosXeno Google It, research it fanboys thats all I have to say. MS does not BACK HD-DVD. -----The problem with google is that dates often get lost. MS was one of the last companies to choose a side, but it eventually did(about 1.5 years ago) and it selected HD-DVD because you can backup your data(BD-DVD is not backup able(which is one of many reasons it will fail). Don't believe everything you read on the internet, otherwise you might start to think 1) sony is good and 2) GW is a good president, the two largest false statements ever

puppiemaster
puppiemaster

I have all 3 consoles and at the moment I play my 360 the most, but last month it was my Wii the most and before that it was the 360 the most, I'm still waiting for a killer application for the PS3 that will drag me away, Resistance got my interest for about 4 days, but i hate all sports (except Wii sports), racing and fighting games, I think they are just really boring. But saying that, a month will come when I'm playing my PS3 the most and it wont be for motostorm, The market is big enough for all, but I really do think that this time Sony has jumped the price up too much, being a parent I would not pay the price of a PS3 for my kid. I was lucky enough to be in Japan on business and pick one up for £250, was an impulse buy but one hell of a lot cheaper than in the UK. You can buy a 360 in the UK now (Virgin) for £340 with 5 games and an extra controller, much better than the start price for the PS3 on its own. I have a HD-DVD player and Blu-ray and you know what, YES both are nice, but its not the step forward that either company says that they are, its not a Video tape to DVD jump, its a baby step, the price of a disc of either format is stupid as well, just buy an upscalling DVD player for £80 in Comet/Currys/Dixons and you wont be missing much.

Autolycus
Autolycus

blah blah blah sold out the Sony's all might buck...

Stucazzo
Stucazzo

Pencilpusher 69: I believe EGM said that the reason why the PS3's blue ray had a better picture than 360's HDDVD was because of the quality of the External DVD player. They also said that there are better quality HD-DVD players on the market.

axia_777
axia_777

I have a new prediction. This has never happened before. The market is now so huge that all three console makers can now survive and thrive in such a large market. No one may be the ultimate wiiner.

NND1
NND1

This has got to be the best console war yet... I love it ... Stay strong 360