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Friday, October 13, 2006

Wii Pre-Sales Today, NPD Data Says Video Games Sales Rocking

September saw video game sales rise 38% year-over-year from last year's September sales of $563 million to a level of $777 million according to research out of NPD Group. That puts the industry up about 11% year-to-date and with the release of the Sony PS3 in November and the nearly-simultaneous release of Nintendo's Wii, it should shape up to be a record year.

The largest percentage of the increase came from hardware, with the strong Nintendo DS handheld sales helping contribute to a 71% gain to $244 million in hardware sales. The software sales, the games themselves, saw sales rise 29% to $446 million. The accessories sales grew by about 21% to $88 million.

This month was considered a success, even though the comparable sales comparisons were reflective of a fairly poor September 2005.

The Sony PS3 has already had its entire inventory pre-purchased at GameStop in literally minutes as each store was given allocations of only 8 or more, and the Wii pre-orders as Gamestop today and that is also expected to disappear in minutes.

We just had the new Electronic Arts Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 07 hit the shelf with a MSRP of $39.95 for Xbox, PlayStation 2, PSP and PC and an MSRP of $59.95 for Xbox 360. Tiger shipped in Europe for Xbox, PlayStation2, PSP, and PC in September 2006.

Xbox 360 showed sales of 259,000 units, and Nintendos 403,000 DS unitsled the way. Sony's PSP sold 153,000 units, a further disappointment after all the bad PR around Sony.

Morgan Stanley actually helped Sony (SNE-NYSE/AD) with an upgrade from Equal Weight to an Overweight rating, and it shares are up 3.5% to $40.42.

Shares of GameStop (GME) are up 3.7% to $52.13, Electronic Arts (ERTS) +1.25% at $56.62, THQ Interactive (THQI) +3.6% at $32.35, and Activision (ATVI) +3.2% at $15.78. Even Take-Two Interactive (TTWO) rose 2% to $15.70 despite a judge this week ordering a copy of "Bully" to be presented in Florida.

Jon C. Ogg
October 13, 2006
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