Analysts split on September hardware leader

Industry watchers agree on a $600-650 million haul, but no consensus reached on whether Halo 3 propelled the 360 past the Wii.

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There's no denying that September was a big month for the games industry. Between the launch of a newly redesigned PlayStation Portable, Heavenly Sword, World in Conflict, several sports franchises, and, of course, that whole Halo 3 thing, consumers had plenty of reasons to dig deeply into their wallets regardless of their gaming platform of choice.

With the industry-tracking NPD Group expected to release its monthly sales statistics later this week, analysts have begun issuing their monthly notes and investor advisories. Last week, Lazard Capital Markets' Colin Sebastian projected the industry to ride Halo 3 to a 30 percent year-over-year climb in software sales, with Microsoft's Xbox 360 also seeing a substantial boost in units sold as a result of Bungie's shooter. Not entirely earth-shattering in light of the industry's double-digit growth this year during the traditionally slow summer months, the analysis from Sebastian noted that September 2006 was no slouch itself, having posted a 26 percent year-over-year increase from 2005.

Today, three more analysts have cast their lots on how September will shake out. Although all foresee industry sales to be in the neighborhood of $600 million to $650 million, there is some contention as to whether Halo 3 pushed the Xbox 360 past the Wii for the first time since December 2006.

Taking the most aggressive stance, Wedbush Morgan Securities guru Michael Pachter believes that the industry's September haul, which runs from September 2 to October 6, was $665 million, a 47 percent year-over-year increase. Driving the industry, unsurprisingly, was Halo 3. "We estimate that Halo 3 accounted for over $200 million (3 million units) in sales this month (up from Halo 2's $169 million)," he said. Pachter believes Microsoft will feel the Halo effect on hardware sales, with the Xbox 360 edging out the Wii 450,000 units to 420,000, and the PlayStation 3 rounding out the console race at 150,000 units.

Prediction market The simExchange sees a slightly more reserved outcome, with $630 million in sales, a 41 percent year-over-year increase. Jesse Divnich, a simExchange analyst, cited Halo 3 as a primary source for the sales gain, but noted that Xbox 360 sales are still not being forecasted to beat the Wii. "Despite the release of Halo 3, the title forecasted by the prediction market to be a dramatic console mover in September, the Nintendo Wii still successfully holds the number one spot for home consoles again at an expected 485,000 units sold," he firmly stated.

The simExchange has Microsoft moving 415,000 consoles and the PS3 shifting 164,000 units. Reflective of Pachter's projection, Divnich sees relatively stagnant PS3 sales, despite two much-hyped console exclusives: the critically panned Lair and the well-received Heavenly Sword. "These titles are not driving hardware in a way typically expected from exclusive titles," he noted.

Pacific Crest's Evan Wilson makes today's most cautious prediction, with the industry's take at $600 million, a 35 percent year-over-year rise. Short on solid hardware numbers, Wilson's industry update pegs Halo 3 as the software sales leader with 3.3 million units sold, and Phantom Hourglass shifting an impressive 450,000 units in the six days it was part of the September accounting period.

Discussion

258 comments
Zacek
Zacek

I have friend that bought a 36 only for Halo 3. But they did it a year ago.

MartyD82
MartyD82

Zaphod_b: Understand, too, that developers are still catching up to the whole Wii phenomenom since the industry was basically turned upside down this generation. The PS3 was really supposed to be the dominant gaming console, according to most analysts and developers, with the X-Box 360 in close competition. The Wii, meanwhile, was supposed to be Nintendo's last gasp of air as a home console developer. So many developers were skeptical about developing games for the system, which is why you haven't yet seen a lot of stellar third party games on it (remember that it often takes at least one year for a game to be developed - I know, because I'm a professional software engineer). Now that the Wii is selling like hotcakes, a lot of developers are taking the system more seriously. And we'll probably see plenty more stellar third party games for it this coming year. And regarding the Wii being another GameCube (in response to another poster), to a degree, this is true. Nintendo seems to be playing the same game they played with the 'Cube and N64 - rehashing classic franchises and producing a lot of sequels. But on the other hand, Sony's now doing this too. Metal Gear Solid 4, Grand Theft Auto 4, Final Fantasy XIII, the next Ratchet And Clank. All of these are sequels and/or third party games available on X-Box 360.

zaphod_b
zaphod_b

People dumping on the Wii should consider this: It and the PS3 released at about the same time, and there are about the same amount of actually GOOD games available for both (yet the Wii is outselling the PS3 3 to 1). It takes about 1 to 1.5 years after a consoles release for the game library to start building up. It was the same for the PS2, the 360, the XBOX, the PS, everything! Early adopters beware, I suppose. Those who have essentially shelved their Wii's as I have, don't give up! The good games are just starting. Not to mention that it's really the 3rd or 4th year in a console's life when it really starts to shine. I didn't buy a PS3 yet for a very good reason: I didn't want two expensive paperweights in my house. But, you can be sure that I'll have one eventually.

Hell-Fire21
Hell-Fire21

CmCoN432: "but this time they have a spiffy new remote that appeals to small children, old people, and people who never quite figured out how to walk and aim at the same time in a FPS" LMAO I just thought that was funny.

stanley2011
stanley2011

Wii is still going to own everything again when SMG and SSBB comes out and maybe mario kart too and BW2 and some more:D:D

atomD21
atomD21

Hey, all those hating on the fact that the Wii is attracting "idiots" with it's simpler controls...get over yourselves! the droves of non traditional gamers now flocking to gaming is good for everyone! You, in your self-righteous, holier-than-thou hardcore gamer hubris may have gotten sick of the Wii, but nt everyone else has! I'm willing to bet that a lot of the same people were downing the DS early on because of the "gimmicky" touch screen. Whether or not the Wii has a long future doesn't really matter. What does matter is that the people who are now into gaming thanks to that little white box will look to the PS3 and 360 for more gaming experiences, thus continuing to help the industry we love to thrive and grow. Besides, Nintendo can't help it if they keep churning out awesome games.

CMcCon342
CMcCon342

In response to: "just wait till galaxy comes out..that will move more wiis.... and when smash bros comes out......that will extremely move wiis....... also mario kart will move alot of wiis......." Sadly, he is probably right, but good God, can we please get something new? Zelda, Metroid, Smash Bros, Mario, Mario Kart, sounding effing familiar? The Wii is the GameCube. Nintendo is still making the same mistakes as the GameCube, just rehashing previous games, but this time they have a spiffy new remote that appeals to small children, old people, and people who never quite figured out how to walk and aim at the same time in a FPS. Its crazy, the release the same system twice, 1st time with a normal controller, they fail, 2nd time with a fancy laser pointer and they are the best thing since sliced bread. I don't know where all of this is coming from, I own a Wii, I think in this very moment I realized how much I hate that thing. Its been unplugged for as long as I can remember...I want to sell it but my fiancee likes the "idea" of it, even though there is nothing to play of any quality. Damn you Nintendo, damn you!

CMcCon342
CMcCon342

I usually think more games and competition is good for all gamers. But I'm really starting to hate the Wii, and I OWN ONE! It's a real piece of "junk." There are 2 good games for it, Zelda and Metroid, and we've played them both before. The motion control got boring in about...10 seconds. All the Wii is doing is lowering the standards of control in gaming so idiots can play. I can't believe its still selling so well. My only hope is that eventually everyone will buy one, play it for 10 minutes and realize that they wasted their money (like I did). I like some casual games, but the system is a joke and I hate to think that talented developers are making kiddy mini-games for the damn thing. It's not a gameplay innovation, its a gimmick. Realism in graphics, physics, lighting, and characters sucks you into a game, not pulling a lever with your tv remote, it actually takes you out of it because you have to fight the damn thing. I wish all the little kids and senior citizens would figure it out so I can stop hearing about the damn thing.

Javier
Javier

Imagine how even better Nintendo hardware would sell if other companies besides Nintendo come out with better games.

rocklee111
rocklee111

with lairs apparent horiable control system and hevenly sword 6 hours of game play its no wonder the titles dident affect sales much....

TryMe01
TryMe01

450,000 in six days for PH, wow

4themob1
4themob1

pablo091377: it isn't the hd-dvd that Assasin's Creed is being programmed on. It is just a dual layer dvd. The Xbox360 does not use the Hd-dvd to do anything but play movies. It is true, however, that Ubisoft has run into some storage issues with the dvd for the 360. They said that they may put it on two discs. You did fail to mention that the company is having hardware programming issues with the PS3 version. They said that each system posed unique problems for development. If you are going to bash then at least get the whole story out. Otherwise, you just sound like a fanboy.

foxpro-gt
foxpro-gt

just wait till galaxy comes out..that will move more wiis.... and when smash bros comes out......that will extremely move wiis....... also mario kart will move alot of wiis.......

pablo091377
pablo091377

Actually, an article on IGN stated that developers were already running into the capacity of the XB360 HD DVD disc. Most recently Assassin's Creed developers have struggled with this same issue. Blue Ray's dramatically increased capacity will ensure that if Sony can hold on through these trying times a PS3 owner will still be playing his current console by the time you're on the Blu-Ray XB720 :-). N00Bs never learn, do they.

smarth
smarth

whether blu ray wins the format war or not, it will not sell ps3's

Natdaddy
Natdaddy

I can't wait to see these numbers - I personally think that most of the hardcores already have a 360 so it won't a huge sales boost, but then again plenty of people just waited for halo 3 to be released till buying one...and the quip about sony outselling in the UK; first off there's always a boost when new stuff comes out especially when its cheaper than before, and also the UK has always been a hot spot for sony sales.

smarth
smarth

whether blu ray wins the format war or not, it will not sell ps3's

ocdog45
ocdog45

dont see how microsoft didn't win the month

ninten5
ninten5

Fight! Fight! Fight! (just had to get that out there) I really, really think the wii's commotion will end soon cuz as stated by everyone else MAJORITY RULES! P.S.I am a wii owner and got caught up in the hype but as the ps3 hits $299 im buying me a Playstation 3!

puppiemaster
puppiemaster

azad_champ wrote Too those saying that PS3 has lost: 1. 100 million PS2 owners aren't going to disappear to thin air. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- They are if you cant play your PS2 games on a PS3 though!!!!!!!!

mamkem6
mamkem6

Just look news on this site on PS3 outselling XBOX 360 after releasing 40 gig model and price cut of the 60 gig in the UK. I would not count out Sony yet

Sparticus247
Sparticus247

azad_champ Too those saying that PS3 has lost: 1. 100 million PS2 owners aren't going to disappear to thin air. 2. It's only the first year. 3. No killer-apps have been released yet. 4. Blu-ray must win the format war first and it will probably do soon. --->You do realize that a not all of those people were hardcore Sony fans, in fact, most of them are going to the Wii and 360

ccputgat2m
ccputgat2m

the wii is a fad just like cell phones are a fad. the wii wins in sales and more importnatly, profits

Kai_88
Kai_88

I do think that the 360 is gonna just edge out the Wii. Remember 4.5 million Halo 3 units have been sold and if just a third of that number bought a 360 too, that's enough to topple the mario factory from its top spot.

nintendokid
nintendokid

WeWerePirates: "Just like the DS was definitely a fad." By saying "was", you are implying past tense, meaning that the event has already occurred. As of September 2007, DS has sold 47,000,000 units worldwide. As of today, I would say it has broke 50,000,000 and if not, the holiday will certainly take care of that. 1) You are wrong, 2) this is console talk, and 3) don't do it again.

tranquilo_
tranquilo_

I have to agree with the people that say it is a good time to be a gamer. Three great consoles + the PC which for me is the best. All are great, for me the 360 is the one that I am the least interested because I am a PC gamer and I dont see anything special about it, some games that are exclusive, that is the difference, very very similar to my PC that is my downside on the 360, but if you dont have a good computer or are a console gamer it is a great console with great titles. I bought the Wii, a great wave of fresh air to the industry, is it really hurting the industry?, not really, if some developers chose to do a mediocre game to profit from the console that is their proble not Nintendo's problem, they will suffer in the end (no one will buy their games). With the great Nintnendo titles I think the other way around, developers should build great games if they want to compete with Nintendo titles. Nintendo for the win, it will not fade, you wish!! The PS3 that I am also interested, but not right now, I am somewaht skeptical and just waitng for it to produce great titles. I think they released it to early, this is a great console, add blu-ray and just there you have an excuse to buy it. PS3 is going to pick up, it just will take time as the hardware is difficult to figure out for the programmers.

WeWerePirates
WeWerePirates

The Wii is definitely a fad... Just like the DS was definitely a fad.

muff07
muff07

"The Wii is lots of fun but like lots of other similar fads i.e tamagotchi/pokemon/gamecube they eventually end. By using your stats if anything shows that the 360 has been a consistent seller for the 18months its been out" you realise the last pokemon game outsold halo 2 and gta:san andreas some fad. Nothing can stop Nintendonot even master chief anyone who attmepts to convince themselves otherwise is dilosional.

Game-o_O
Game-o_O

It's odd how people suspect Sony of falling behind, yet they haven't noticed Microsoft has slowed down. More then drastically. It's in my opinion they want to give the PS3 some motivation. If the PS3 starts to climb, the 360 has some real competition. The wii will fade all to soon, it's only a fad *as most already have stated*. The 360 needs its rival, the PS3 needs it's real games. (PS3 isn't even half way into releasing it's first wave of games.) Lets see the turn of events around x-mas 2009. (not 2008) ;)

heroofwinds1
heroofwinds1

I believe that even halo 3 can not make xbox 360 pass the the sales of wii even of a month.wii is by far the most succesfull console this generation and you can see this not only from the sales of wii but from the enormous growth of nintendo's value and from the fact that nintendo never losses money from a console they sell.i believe wii deserves it because it brought back to the videogames the magic they had in their most revolutionary steps.it gave something different that created a whole new wave of players and kept those who were already playing by leting them get something fresh.

mrsal
mrsal

At this rate Sony will be making games for Nintendo again, just like the good old 8-bit days

EternalYoshi
EternalYoshi

Sony still has a chance. They need more than MGS4. They need a killer app that will be here before the year is over and fast.

azad_champ
azad_champ

Too those saying that PS3 has lost: 1. 100 million PS2 owners aren't going to disappear to thin air. 2. It's only the first year. 3. No killer-apps have been released yet. 4. Blu-ray must win the format war first and it will probably do soon.

gameman_4
gameman_4

sony loses, end of story or they have to start pumping out some incredible games

TheoleDominion1
TheoleDominion1

Go MS and Ninty, step it up Sony we want you in the fight too!

v8nnwilder
v8nnwilder

(Cheese & Rice)! It seems that everything goes around the console wars... And I just don't understand why it makes such a big difference to us (the gamers)? I mean we have have not one but THREE awesome consoles to choose from and so many brilliant games coming out that we can be locked in a room for months and never get bored... Big up to the 360 with their boost in sales and well done on Halo 3... (And I can say that even thou I'm a PS3 owner) And also well done to the Wii as I'm sure not a lot of people actually gave them a chance but they did really well by targeting the casual gaming market and it really worked for them... On the PS3... Well it might not win the "war" but I bet it still has a lot of fight left in it. And say what you want it is an awesome piece of hardware they just need to wake the F#$$% up at Sony and the develpement of some sort of customer relations and stop messing about and confusing their customers.... The console isn't letting us down they are. But once it becomes more well know territory for the game developers to make games on Blu Ray and the PS3 I'm sure they will see a boost in sales when it comes to that. And I will win the Lotto soon then I will own every console there is... Not because I'm a Fan boy but because I CAN. My point is stop hating and start playing...

PS360owner
PS360owner

I think the whole reason for all of these console wars is that not everyone wants to shell out $1000+ for every system out there every generation. That's kind of expecting too much from people isn't it? when they may have real lives and jobs to go to and can't spend every minute of every day gaming. Why should people - even if they could afford it - spend so much money every generation just to play the games they want? This is what makes people upset and start bad-mouthing the systems they don't have or don't want to buy. And, if you just paid $500 for a system in an environment where there's a lot at stake and the loser might get out of the business altogether, it's easy to see why discussions become so passionate and heated. They don't want their consoles to lose games or support, and they feel like their investment is being threatened by the competition, not helped by it.

Alien-Child
Alien-Child

You know whats funny is how Sony did the same mistake M$ did last generation. The Xbox came later in the year didn't come close to having as many games on launch and the ps2 had a dvd drive. Now Sony doing pretty much the same thing. A few more years and maybe Nintendo will do that. I doubt it but it would be funny to see.

XanderZane
XanderZane

Not sure if the Xbox 360 will past the Wii or not. It should be pretty close though. XBox 360 and Wii hardware sales shouldn't drop below 300K-350K for the rest of the year. I would expect the PS3 to get over 200K for Oct numbers. I don't see them making over 400K until Decemeber most likely.

KingChainz31684
KingChainz31684

I am excited for a couple titles on the PS3 Drake and Haze then some multiplatform, X360 i am definitely counting on Mass Effect and multiplatform titles, The wii they have me right now i am excited about MOH, REUC, SMG, S&M at the olympics has some potential but i think mostly as a multiplayer, Nights sounds neat if it lives up to its hype it could be awesome. I might try manhunt 2 i think it will be good. Soul Caliber Lengends is a cool looking game but i hope its tougher than it looks. and as much as i like my 360 this is not an article all about halo 3 so why do so many x360 owners solely turn this into a a halo 3 article your annoying me Halo 3 sold well yes your system will still have lost the console wars for the month. Halo 3 is looked at as such a god of gaming but somone tell me what about it is so great that other than it selling obscenly well i should still want and go play it ever again. what the handful of MP maps that are at best decently made maps. Least the user control in MP matches is getting a bit better but honestly it is one of the worst things ever trying to get on the same team as a friend. I mean i played it right away expecting gods gift to gaming what i got was halo 2 with much prettier graphics a slightly less crappy story line. and a MP that to me doesn't even come close to living up to halo 2's current level. Yes i know the Critic Reviews over all is a 9.4 so oh it must be a good game but their was 14 reviews for the game before the game actually came out most of which gave the game perfect scores non of which mention the major flaws the game has. I mean a single player that is certain weak being generous. And the MP wow if that limited map list and terrible user control outside of matches is supposed to be some kinda amazing MP no thanks. The game is good it deserves its honest rankings from critics but not the 9.5's certainly not perfects cuz in no way is this game even close to perfect seeing as how perfect is supposed to mean their are no games that can compare cuz of how good the game is. but i mean anything above an 8.5 is all about the hype. I mean read gamespots 9.5 review or just watch the video if it suits you i mena they list several faults to the game that would normally knock a gamespot ranking down to closer to a high 7 but they still give it a 9.5 so happy day to you people who think the game is good but man it really is more of a disappointment than anything. I love my 360 but ignorant people for the most part and the way overratings of a game that most critics admit to giving the game some near crippling faults like a 6 hour single player i have just turned from disliking halo 3 on a personal level to dispising the game on a public level. I mean i hope it will draw extra 3rd party support to the 360 but really to me thats all i get out of halo 3 nothing more i mena even my halo obsessed cousins are down to anticipating Mass Effect cuz they loved the game off the bat but they are bored with the MP maps already and they are upset cuz they figure Microsoft will make them spend 30 dollars on a 3 map map pack or something like that. back on topic sorry for the rant I look for this to be a great winter i am sad about SSBB but i actually am happy cuz i was not going to Haze but i think i will now since will have a bit of extra space on Xmas list i mean i am excited about PS3 which i think is great since the system is sucking it up a bit and it still has me excited.

SonicTheMonkey
SonicTheMonkey

No matter which of the 3 you support, it's a good time to be a gamer! oh and btw, M$ can't compete with Nintendo. Even if M$ does slightly edge them out on hardware sales this month, I think everyone can agree Halo 3 is the only reason for that. Nintendo is dominating (and will continue to do so).

LeviHarris
LeviHarris

I think Sony will see a boost when Drake comes out. It really doesn't have any "must own" titles yet. In fact, I sold my only two games for it. I'm mainly using it as a cheaper Blu-Ray player which is great. It's a fantastic system, but the fact that it's so expensive and a library you can find on almost any other system hurts it. Give it some time. It'll boost when MGS4 comes out. I'm not a fanboy either. I own all three systems. No hating.

StrayMBlasTER
StrayMBlasTER

whoa! its getting hot! Sony, ya gotta step it up its a tight race now 360 vs. Wii

jimmy_bean
jimmy_bean

Wii60 for the win! =D And uh DS rocks. yay

Wise_China
Wise_China

Go MS and Halo 3. Wii is doing Impressive as well.