What Michael Pachter Is Watching In The Video Game Space
Michael Pachter of Wedbush is one of Wall Street's leading authorities on the video game space.
In a report published Tuesday, Pachter previewed Thursday's NPD release which he expects to show August's console/handheld software sales falling 5 percent year-over-year to $220 million. That marks the third monthly decline of 2015 and the first since May due to last year's more favorable release slate and the continuing shift towards full digital game downloads.
Pachter continued that Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA)'s Madden NFL 16 will lead all sales "by a wide margin" with 1.33 million units sold, including 100,000 bundle units. The analyst added that the game benefited from the strongest review in five years and was also aided by the continued expansion of next-gen console sales.
Pacther added that Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI)'s Destiny will sell 125,000 units (excluding "modest" bundle sales), helped by the release of the House of Wolves expansion and "growing anticipation" ahead of September's release of the The Taken King expansion.
On the retail front, GameStop Corp. (NYSE: GME) offered a free physical copy of the new football game with the purchase of a PS4 or Xbox One.
Finally, the analyst is projecting hardware sales of 250,000 Xbox One units (up 57 percent year-over-year) while 190,000 PS4 units (flat year-over-year) were sold in August. As such, Xbox One sales will exceed PS4 sales for the first time since April and only the fifth time since November 2013, driven by Xbox One bundles for Madden NFL 16, Gears of War: Ultimate Edition and the Halo Xbox One bundle.
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