Analyst: September software sales to soar 30 percent

Lazard Capital Markets' Colin Sebastian sees Halo 3's runaway success buoying game and hardware sales for the month.

by

Customarily a downtime for the gaming industry, the summer months still recorded month after month double-digit growth this year on the rising strength of the three next-generation consoles. Riding that trend into August, the industry posted nearly $1 billion in sales in the US alone, a 46 percent year-over-year increase, on the heels of Madden NFL 08 and the subsequent kickoff of the Great Games Bombardment 2007. The increase may have caught many by surprise, considering that several industry analysts timidly predicted a mere 12 percent year-over-year gain.

With NPD on the verge of releasing the industry's sales statistics for September, analysts are again taking a crack at the upcoming figures. In an industry note to investors today, Lazard Capital Markets' Colin Sebastian is expecting approximately 30 percent year-over-year growth in software sales, unsurprisingly led by Microsoft and Bungie's sci-fi shooter Halo 3.

Considering that Microsoft has already claimed $170 million in first-day sales alone for its shooter, that figure may seem modest. However, Sebastian notes that September 2006 itself was quite strong, having posted a 26 percent year-over-year increase from 2005. With Microsoft touting first-week worldwide revenues of $300 million for the game and some analysts pegging units sold at 4.4 million, Sebastian believes the bulk of Halo 3's draw came from the North American market. He also notes that a portion of the sales will be logged for the first part of October.

Sebastian also believes that Halo 3 will make a significant impact on the hardware charts--for Microsoft's console, at least. "We also expect higher Xbox 360 hardware sales in September boosted by price cuts and Halo 3 launch," he said.

Nintendo's and Sony's consoles, on the other hand, will maintain the status quo. He continued, "Demand for Nintendo's Wii hardware remains strong but sales are likely to reflect ongoing supply constraints--a trend likely to persist through the holiday period. For Sony's PS3, we do not anticipate a meaningful uptick in unit sales without a hardware price discount (or new SKU), or until the seasonal holiday sales ramp."

Discussion

60 comments
trickyspider
trickyspider

hahah all da games are on xbox 360 then why wud u wanna buy a ps3 rite now.. maybe you will jst buy it for MGS4 but then wat... u keep it as a show piece.. i mean u spend all dat money but there are not many good games coming out constantly like the 360.. all the exclusives are even on there.. and plus halo roxxx.. halo is good..

bennae66
bennae66

mgs4 will be a hit. you try investing that much money in a console and being starved for any decent game out there games. one of the only few and good exclusives that the ps3 will get. i bought halo 3 and loved it but there is still so much more, and mass effect will take up alot of my time. im sure one day the ps3 will be worth the money and have more than 2 games worth purchasing. and that will be the day that i buy one.

gevans1989
gevans1989

smehhead83 agreed thay are always going on about MGS4 and FF13 but lets face it a company is about making money so no doubt thay will come to the 360, and yes say all you want ps3 fanboys i dont care, it is the way of the world

smeghead83
smeghead83

@jesus_markii we know what games the PS3 will have next year...seeing how they keep delaying all there big games to next year we know that the biggest of them all will be MGS4 sometime in Q2-Q3 2008. Will it be a huge hit? probley it will be, will it drive up sales of the PS3? yes i think it will. But and a big BUT will it save the PS3? answer...well no, being realized a little bit too late. (and now i await the angry sony fans messages and negatives )

gevans1989
gevans1989

Halo 3 is kicking ass in sales and that is only one of the 360 high profile exclusives we have still got Mass Effect, PGR4 just to name a few this Christmas is gonna be 360 all the way

jesus_markii
jesus_markii

Ghetto taxii just because PS3 isnt doing to good now doesnt mean it wont in the feature i agree with jimjam its about the games. Who knows what games the PS3 will have in a year from now. But i personaly am a xbox 360 fan

jimjam146
jimjam146

So the 360 is looking like the pony to bet on this Xmas. How much do these geniuses get paid to figure stuff like this out? Of course the 360 will win this holiday season! I've said it before and I'll say it again - its not rocket science, ITS ABOUT THE GAMES. Why anyone would pay more to get less by buying a Sony at this point in time is beyond me. Even Sony's most ardent fanboys must be getting impatient by this point.

jasongm
jasongm

The reason i bought aX360 2 years ago was for a little game we all know today as: Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion I never cared for the Halo series... you just run/jump/ and shoot things (and the fact you can get killed very easily is really not fun) yah i'm not a FPS fan as you can tell...

GhettoTaxii
GhettoTaxii

@smeghead83 analysts have taken risks, by saying the PS3 was going to win. It's quite obvious that will never happen.

smeghead83
smeghead83

Is it just me or is it when analyst post there reports its normally full of stuff we all ready know...i mean wheres the taking a risk aspect and going out on a limb. not just telling us what we all know about. Also it seems that the more you bash PS3/Sony it always gets loads of negative thumbs here...silly fanboys

Phazevariance
Phazevariance

I just got a 360 and all these wii games coming out, i'm leterally swamped with games now, and i love it! No more boredom! But Halo 3 wasn't as good as I had expected. Sold well though...

laitheybaby
laitheybaby

I used to come on my PC every day for 2-3 hours. Since September 26th I only come on every 4 or 5 days for less than half an hour because I'm too frickin' busy playing Halo 3. It eats my time and I ****in' love it.

reactionsok
reactionsok

whats with these useless analyst news. cold hard numbers is where its at. i hope this guy is an intern. or perhaps he graduated from gamespot community college. TAKE THAT!

reactionsok
reactionsok

whats with these useless analyst news. cold hard numbers is where its at. i hope this guy is an intern. or perhaps he graduated from gamespot community college. TAKE THAT!

Unassigned
Unassigned

Between the Wii and the XB360 it should be a good Christmas season for the stores.

ukillwegrill
ukillwegrill

M$ and Ninty own its gonna be a really poor holiday season for sony fans (if they only have the ps3)

threegde
threegde

Give a real deal...it will boost the numbers.

mwa
mwa

nice. hopefully the 360 comes out on top this holiday season.

Dmitheon
Dmitheon

And in other news, cake is good.

Tarjanian
Tarjanian

I can think of many people that bought the Wii all hyped for the experience, which is neat imo, but never bought more than 2 games for it since launch. It's a gimmicky system plain and simple and it won't move software, which is way more important to Console Longevity. The PS2 proved that, lots of great titles sell systems year in and year out. The 360 is building a great software library that looks to match the PS2's success. I'll not buy a Wii or a PS3 as they just don't seem like good investments right now.

steedle
steedle

biochock is s"·%$" Hail Halo 3 the king of games.

SonyRulzU
SonyRulzU

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

rkangel
rkangel

How can I forget Homeworld 1/2.

rkangel
rkangel

you gotta be kidding me...BioShock sucks?????? what are you smoking? You probably haven't played the game or are too "de de de" to understand the mechanics or artistic style it has presented to an already boring pile of games available. Before you say anything, I've own and enjoy playing BioShock, Halo3, Forza, C&C, Grand Theft "ALL", Battlefield 2/2042, Quake "ALL", Doom "ALL", System Shock, so you know where I'm coming from. Don't be an @$$ and hate a game because you have a personal taste to another because they are all good in their own merits. I took this personally because IMO BioShock is a piece or Art .

StegrShmil
StegrShmil

Bioshock sucks. Its overrated. The game is short and not very satisfying. Now halo is sweet. Short single player, but sweet.

IKKF
IKKF

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

rtehrani
rtehrani

bdking57- i know what you mean. i played the demo to bioshock when it came out and was simply amazed by it. it looked abosolutly stunning and played really fun. but halo3 has made me completly forget about bioshock. i may still buy it, but it wont be until i finish playing halo3.......which, as everyone knows, could be a loooooooooooooooooooong time.

DarkVenom
DarkVenom

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

Bdking57
Bdking57

bioshock was extremely overated compared to halo 3... it just isnt as good, and its part of the reason I dont understand Hermits... they considered bioshock revolutionary? maybe... but 0 replay value.

L1qu1dSword
L1qu1dSword

OK but Killzone was hyped as the hype killer "halo killer" and was not even that.

sascha23
sascha23

The 360 is a great system, but I can't understand why the Halo franchise is the leading reason for the system being noted. I'd like to think that fantastic titles like BioShock and Mass Effect are the reasons to own the system, while titles like MGS4, Killzone 2, Uncharted and Ratchet are the reasons gamers want a PS3. At the sake of getting flamed, Halo is more hype than content.

Zerosumgame
Zerosumgame

Analysts got paid to write reports that when there is nothing good to report on, they just need to do something to make them look busy. If I want a good laugh, I will pick up an analyst report.

outbombin
outbombin

yeah i bought my 360 for halo and saints row =)

mongo_14
mongo_14

rgobantes3 good point, but current hd-dvd players also need a software update to play china's format.

ratradler
ratradler

I know a couple people that bought a 360 just because Halo 3 came out.

themyth01
themyth01

" considering several industry analysts timidly predicted a mere 12 percent year-over-year gain. " Just shows how much these "analysts" know.

rgobantes3
rgobantes3

Zerosumgame, China will be coming up with their own HD format and the word is that it will be playable with HD-DVD players. China will also be putting out low cost HD-DVD players this holiday season. Standalone HD-DVD players are outselling standalone blu-ray players 70% - 30% (however the numbers are small). Did you know new blu-ray movie releases using BD+ can not play on most, if not all, blu-ray players without a software upgrade AND that HD-DVD now has a 51GB disc (I know the blu-ray camp is also working on a bigger one)? So I disagree with all the articles saying the war is over.

xunhallowed
xunhallowed

Atarii, I agree. MOST people play games for fun. I don't care how much what sells, I'm still going to have GTA IV on 360. And Nintendo will still have Super Smash Bros. Brawl for Wii, and Sony will have MGS4. No matter what, games will still be released for consoles. This may be interesting to businessmen, but for gamers, who gives a crap?

d_black
d_black

"blah blah blah numbers numbers numbers - I don't see the importance to all these sales figures for an average person." The average person won't be getting much on their console if it fails to sell. Ignoring the numbers because they don't read out the way you'd like isn't gonna change anything.

Scott091
Scott091

"blah blah blah numbers numbers numbers - I don't see the importance to all these sales figures for an average person." The importance is mainly because a growing market generally means more games...problem is we're just getting more crappy games.

Atarii
Atarii

blah blah blah numbers numbers numbers - I don't see the importance to all these sales figures for an average person.

Zerosumgame
Zerosumgame

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

munsoned
munsoned

i wanna be a Analyst when i grow up. get paid to set on my arse and run my mouth about future sales. talk about a dream job!!!!

FalconerX
FalconerX

what with HD:dvd now beating blu-ray sales wise (anyone else notice gamespot havent run that story?) http://kotaku.com/gaming/hd-format-wars/hd-dvd-beating-out-blu+ray-309771.php and Gabe Newell saying ps3 is crap it dosent looklike sony is having a good week, which now looks set to get worse with stats being released 360 could be out selling ps3 by 10-1 by end of this holiday.... kinda feel sorry for them as i loved the ps1&2, but hey thats evolution for you!