Analyst expects "flattish" March NPD numbers

Lazard Capital Markets' Colin Sebastian says declining last-gen sales, Wii and DS shortages combined to mute last month's retail take.

by

Not since October has the industry-tracking NPD Group's monthly sales tally failed to show a significant year-over-year growth in gaming, but Lazard Capital Markets analyst Colin Sebastian thinks the March figures will break that trend.

In a note to investors this morning, Sebastian said to expect NPD to release "flattish" March sales for console and portable games, with God of War II, Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2, Guitar Hero II, and Def Jam Icon leading the pack. Sebastian expects growth in sales for the latest generation of systems to be all but offset by declining sales on last-gen games, and short supplies of Nintendo's Wii and DS systems.

As for individual publishers, Sebastian expects Activision to have increased its sell-through by 20 percent, thanks largely to the sustained success of Guitar Hero II on the PlayStation 2 and Call of Duty 3. Sebastian predicts EA's numbers will be down 20 percent, with THQ dipping slightly for the month.

Discussion

61 comments
cjcr_alexandru
cjcr_alexandru

Well, now we can see how "good" this analysts are...

squomp
squomp

For the record, there was an overall 33% increase. Hardware was up 69%!!! How could he be so far off. These "analysts" are horrible.

Valmier
Valmier

Well, of course there are Wii shortages. Whether you like it or not, the fact is it is immensely popular, both with gamers and non gamers. New horizons for gamers, cool games for non-gamers. Heck, it's better tan the track record of the PS3 (in stock after a month? Come on!).

Rentago
Rentago

Yeah I'm waiting on my games, Army of Two, and such seem awesome. And yeah the freedom of america is we can make up any word we want, and as soon as a fraction of the population start using it they put it in the dictionary. I found that neat, think about japan or other countries, they can't really make much slang or alternate words for new things.

sieg6529
sieg6529

There needs to be a law against new word generation.

prioritymail
prioritymail

I predict the Wii will out sell the PS3 in December 2006! Hope I'm right!

GFofgaming
GFofgaming

March had gone by long time back....

drangel_jam
drangel_jam

It's true, the last game I bought is Lost Planet, way back in January; and I'm a consumer who at least buys one game per month. But I don't just buy for the sake of it, if I like enough I get it. Waiting for Forza Motorsport 2.

duxup
duxup

Much of that analysis could be summed up by saying "hey it is spring time". Things are often slow in the spring.

ufopuller
ufopuller

Where are all the Wiis? Shelves are empty.

brerrabbit23
brerrabbit23

colin sebastian smoking "crackish" pipe.... presumably passed from pachter?

bgres077
bgres077

They may dip, but there will still be great sales numbers all around.

Yuck_Too
Yuck_Too

I agree, "flattish" is not a analyst type of word...and probably should not have a double T. They should have said "less vertical inclination"...and then referred to it henceforth as the LVI measurement.

keinuveye
keinuveye

Flattish is a word I'd use to describe, say, your mom, not sales figures.

Reetesh
Reetesh

No Game sales Madness this march :(

LosDaddie
LosDaddie

My prediction: #1 Wii #2 x360 #3 PS3 I didn't list the PS2 because it's not competing with the other consoles no matter how much PS Fanboys want to believe.

RetroGameFanCom
RetroGameFanCom

Got my Wii on launch day. But i have yet to see another one in a store since then. And i look every time i shop. DS is found pretty easily here though.

tomgowen
tomgowen

DS lite hard to find? They are all over the place. Sears.com has them in stock, available to ship, at standard retail price. Try finding a Wii anywhere for less than $400 shipped. Cheapest next gen console, my backside!

Rect_Pola
Rect_Pola

To ketsuatama: If you can afford a 360 and PS3, "when you can" won't take very long. 8)

ketsuatama
ketsuatama

Given Nintendo can sell as many Wii's it can get into the market at present, fanboy arguments are pointless. You've got to hand it to Nintendo, they are back in a big way. As an owner of the 360 and PS3, I'm still excited by what the Wii promises and will get one when I can!

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

@Death2009 I you read my comment again you will notice that I never said that everybody likes it. Your comment on the other hand states that it is hated by everybody. "The Wii is hated accross the board!" were your exact words. So what, me and my family are the only ones on Earth who love it? Plus you are an Xbox gamer (according to your collection) and don't even own a Wii so your opinion really isn't worth anything.

Death2009
Death2009

DrMario57 you made a wise choice. And kavadias1981 the Wii is hated across the board! Not everybody likes it. My mother is a casual gamer and hates it...Same for my sister.

zsc4
zsc4

This was bound to happen, everyone could see it.

DrMario57
DrMario57

How bloody hard is it to make out dated hardware like the wii? Jezzz This is the 5th FREAKEN MONTH after the lauch. Its coming clost to HALF A YEAR. What is Nintendo doing....? This is totally unacceptable. And im not going to get a Wii now.

big_bad_byron
big_bad_byron

I wouldn't think it would be too difficult to predict sales for a month that is already long-past.

params7
params7

Where's the game sales chart for March for the US market?

mr_killer_man
mr_killer_man

I did a lot of NPD's surveys. I didn't win any money so I quit!

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

I guess he is entitled to his opinion. Oh and Wii doesn't suck. Me and my wife play on it almost every day together. I swear it is only sad hardcore gamer that can't enjoy it.

ChitoKiryoku
ChitoKiryoku

Either nintendo is holding them back just a bit to increase want, they're holding back a lot and release them when they release a big title, or they're holding back ridiculously for the next holiday season. Just glad I already have mine...

panteral3
panteral3

Wii REALLY sucks and you know what they say: "There is a sucker born every minute." Despite that, Bravo Nintendo.

Jathyr
Jathyr

what's so amazing about the wii? Three of my friends have them and I've played it and I don't see the appeal-- i mean it's fun at first but are any games more than party mini-games? i mean other than zelda, it's great but I don't see why this is still going this long-- I really think nintendo is keeping this shortage going to keep the hype up. sorry to be the critical one.

lewser5
lewser5

April should make up for what last month lost with xbox Guitar Hero and of course Pokemon. So expect even more shortages for the DS, thats my future prediction ;)

Cretosdx
Cretosdx

My family also bought my brother's ds lite in February but it was supposed to be his christmas present. And we check everywhere. That is how limited supply the ds lite have. And its going to get even limited when the two new pokemon games will come out.

BangaaPride
BangaaPride

DS is NOT having a shortage. There's tons where I live. Wii....is a needle in a haystack right now. (Who knew people weren't graphics junkies but cost conscious folks? I can't find one!!!)

mr_squibble
mr_squibble

I bought my DS Lite in February, so it will not get to contribute to the March numbers. And as a matter of fact, the only game I purchased in March was on clearance at Wal-Mart: Legend of Heroes 2 for the PSP. All I can say is that Nintendo had better get more DS Lites into the pipeline before the new Pokemon game hits on April 22. March may be somewhat flat compared to last year, but April is going to have a huge jump in year-on-year sales thanks to Pokemon Diamond/Pearl alone. That game will be untouchable in 2007 as it dominates the sales charts.

sja28
sja28

ill be interesting to see how the ps3 does

ckmlb
ckmlb

He's talking about Guitar Hero 2 on PS2 not 360, the 360 version didn't come out till April...

mixhawkeye
mixhawkeye

Yea I work @ best Buy and we sell out of Nintendo DS ALL the time and it sucks because we never know when the next shipment is going to come in. Every now and then we'll get a few, but for the most part it's like trying to find water in a desert.

DestroyAllNoobs
DestroyAllNoobs

DS_fan_atic: Yes if you search for them on internet shops (at least that's what happened to me looking for a ds lite.)

Pete5506
Pete5506

WOW the wii is just that good

xmg0
xmg0

Neato i guess lol,

DS_fan_atic
DS_fan_atic

"short supplies of Nintendo's Wii and DS systems. " DS is hard to find??? hmmmm

NY_Yankees_Fan
NY_Yankees_Fan

Hmmm.....Interesting!,but not hard to believe since both are inexpensive and are both full of quality. :)