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Pachter: March sales up 47% YoY in the US

From Michael Pachter's just-issued research note, as published on VG247:

* We expect March U.S. retail video game console software sales data to be released after market close on Thursday,
April 17. We forecast sales of $850 million, +47% compared to last year's $579 million.
* Our estimate reflects $705 million in sales contribution from new platforms (PS3, Wii, 360, PSP and DS) and current
generation software sales of $145 million. We estimate sell-through of 700,000 Wii, 310,000 Xbox 360 and 365,000 PS3
consoles. For purposes of comparison, The simExchange prediction market forecasts 581,000 Wii, 296,000 Xbox 360
and 301,000 PS3 consoles sold. Our console sell-through forecasts reflect our belief that supplies for Wii and DS
hardware improved during the month.
* Console software sales growth in 2007 was a robust 34%. In 2008, software sales have remained strong, +11% in
January and +47% in February. We expect the February sales trend to continue in March, and even greater growth in
April (with Nintendo's Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time/Darkness (DS) and Mario Kart Wii, and Take-
Two's highly anticipated Grand Theft Auto IV (360, PS3)), with the sector appearing highly recession-resistant.
* We expect 19% overall software sales growth in 2008, with continued momentum over the next two months from a
very strong new release line-up, giving way to more modest growth later in the year. We recommend that investors
accumulate Activision, Electronic Arts, Nintendo, THQ, and Ubisoft shares at current levels.

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