Game sales to break skid in April - Analyst

Wedbush's Michael Pachter predicts 15% software climb for last month, led by Portal 2's 2.4 million domestic sales, 500K for Mortal Kombat.

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Game software sales haven't seen a month of positive growth at US retailers since November, but according to Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter, that skid was broken in April. In a note to investors this morning, Pachter forecast US retail software sales growth of 15 percent to $460 million, which would be only the fourth month of growth in the past year.

Portal 2 is opening to a room full of money.

Pachter attributed the substantial growth to the glut of high-quality titles released during the month. Valve's Portal 2 led new-game sales during the month, according to the analyst, with US retail sales expected to come in at around 2.4 million units (of which, 2.2 million were sold for consoles). Warner Bros. also may have scored a hit with Mortal Kombat, which Pachter believes debuted with 500,000 units sold.

Despite the ongoing PlayStation Network outage, Sony's SOCOM 4: US Navy SEALs also put up decent numbers in its debut month, selling 225,000 units, according to Pachter. He also believed that Nintendo's Pokemon Black and White, as well as Ubisoft's Just Dance 2, continued their respective strong sales runs.

On the hardware side, Pachter expects the Xbox 360 to be the sales leader with 315,000 units, followed closely by the DS's 300,000 units. The Wii, which received a $50 price cut in May, sold 215,000 units last month, Pachter believes, with the PlayStation 3 coming in at 210,000 units possibly sold.

Pachter remained down on the 3DS, which he believes sold just 200,000 units in April. "We initially expected the launch of the 3DS to spike overall software sales growth back into positive territory beginning in April, but the handheld is off to a slow start, as a lack of compelling software has kept many consumers on the sidelines for the expensive hardware," he said.

As part of its fiscal year-end earnings report in April, Nintendo said global 3DS sales stood at 3.61 million units through March. That figure was about 400,000 units shy of projections, and company president Satoru Iwata said that Nintendo would be stepping up marketing for the glasses-free, 3D-enabled device.

The NPD Group is expected to issue its April sales report on May 12.

Discussion

30 comments
gbrading
gbrading moderator

gatsbythepig is quite right: I haven't the foggiest why anyone cares what Michael Pachter says anymore. Analysts really need to analyse their own analysis better.

gatsbythepig
gatsbythepig

Here's a prediction. Gamespot will continue to cover Michael Pachter whether or not he makes an accurate prognostication. His percentages are almost as good as flipping a coin... almost.

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

@steelmouth I agree, although I'd use the word interesting.. not great :p

steelmouth
steelmouth

it will be great to see how the current PSN issues have affected ps2 sales

John_Read
John_Read

Portal 2 deserves everything such an awesome game just waiting for free content from valve

Pete5506
Pete5506

Portal 2 was great fun, I hope the DLC gives harder test chambers

monson21502
monson21502

i played a 3ds at walmart.. and wow!! if it wasnt for the thumb stick i woulda thought it was a ds.. the graphics were about the same. and i didnt see any 3d effects at all.... not sure how they can sell a single 1 for 250 bucks:shock:

zeebenzene
zeebenzene

@theJBlounge You also have to wonder how many got it on the ps3 just so they could have that and the pc copies of the game, like me. I don't even see why gamespot put that fact in. Almost like they want to diss pc gamers, but maybe I'm reading too much into it.

theJBlounge
theJBlounge

Based on the estimates, 2.2 million were sold on 360/PS3 and 200k on the PC. Gotta wonder how many were sold on Steam, since that's not included in the numbers.

aSchizophrenic
aSchizophrenic

Portal 2 FTW! It definitely is one of my top ten favorite games.

GamerNes9
GamerNes9

@DanielL5583 But u should seriously check out Batman AA or AC because the first was great. If u like action, sneaking, gadgets/tools, and great graphics then get AA, and if you like that expanded, open world and way better graphics get AC, which , as I said earlier, comes out in October, specifically the 18th

Flint247
Flint247

The 3DS sales will rocket sooner or later. I'm not too worried about it, though. Having the system is good enough for me.

DanielL5583
DanielL5583

@GamerNes9 Games based on comic book series kinda go under the radar for me. I generally don't have much interest in the subject.

GamerNes9
GamerNes9

@DanielL5583 In October, Batman: AC comes out In July, That Captain America game comes out, but I'm probably the only one getting it:)BTW, Gamespotters respond to me if u are getting Cap. or Batman:AC!!!!Plus, tell me how to do other emoticons because i only know the smile!!!!!!

Richardthe3rd
Richardthe3rd

Michael Pachter; the one person you can always count on for idiotic, usually wrong non-news.

DarthVeng_basic
DarthVeng_basic

Who cares. Up one month, down the next. Is this really news?

kris9031998
kris9031998

@AminWRX Look at how many steam gamers bought it, retail makes just a smidge of sales

DanielL5583
DanielL5583

In May, Brink will be uber-popular. In June, Duke Nukem Forever will be uber-popular. In July, Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D will be uber-popular. In August, Deus Ex: Human Revolution will be uber-popular. In September, RAGE will be uber-popular. In October, I don't know what will be uber-popular. In November, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim will be uber-popular. In December, IT'S CHRISTMAS!

AminWRX
AminWRX

Um, this forecast is already out of date. On VGChartz.com, Portal 2 sold nowhere near 2.4 million.. which is actually unfortunate because it's a damn good game!

Flint247
Flint247

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

mariostar0001
mariostar0001

Predictions are nice, but actual numbers are better. Too bad we don't have those yet. Ah well.

ssjfuturetrunks
ssjfuturetrunks

Another of Michael Patcher's predictions... i always ROFL :P

TristanH12
TristanH12

@Ex-DarkBlade There's two more (EEDAR) and that other group, I guess they havent issued their predictions yet.

hawaiiinsomniac
hawaiiinsomniac

ha ha... "skid" and the vid still looks like a toilet.

pycho22solid
pycho22solid

Glad to see Mortal Kombat has solid sales, seeing as how it is from a new studio

Ex-DarkBlade
Ex-DarkBlade

Is Michael Pachter the only game industry analyst that Gamespot can find?

TristanH12
TristanH12

Wow, only 200K for the 3DS?! ouch