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Retail sales now in their sixth month of decline

Ross Miller

US console sales continue their nose dive since September; according to the research from Michael Pachter, "total U.S. console software sales for February were $340 million, down 13% [emphasis added] compared to last year and lower than our $350 million estimate (down 11%)." Here is a further breakdown for the number-lovers out there:

  • Current generation software sales (PS2, Xbox, and GCN) were down 35.5% ($135 million), which was steeper than the estimated 33% ($125 million) decline.
  • Unit sales of current generation software continues to decline at an accelerated pace. The dropping prices of current-gen software will exacerbate the declining trend.

  • Next generation software sales, however, were in line with estimates, and sales were up $95 million.
  • March will be a potentially difficult month, as Xbox 360s are not expected to be widely available until next month. Also, year-to-year comparisons will prove ugly since last March's sales were up 31% due to the PSP's March 2005 launch.

  • March predictions: sales down "at least 20% or more this year, bringing year-to-date software sales down at least 14%."
In nature, a bear will stock up on food before hibernation, in order to endure the long period of lull when food would be scarce. The games industry practices the same hibernation trends in a variety of degrees: seasonally, industry sales tend to improve in the wintertime, except for once every four years when all the publishers have to endure a long transition period where sales suffer. With all the news reported on next-generation consoles, we are contributing to the consumer consensus to save their money until the PS3 and Revolution launches, but any publisher that survives the lull will be rewarded with a huge sales spike come time for those consoles to launch. But for now, all they can do is rest and endure.

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