Lazard Capital Markets analyst Colin Sebastian has forecast a 35 percent rise in March software sales ahead of the release of the NPD Group's monthly data on Thursday.
Based on retail and industry checks, Sebastian forecasts that software growth will meet, and perhaps even exceed, Lazard's original 35 percent estimate. He attributed the likely growth to a "solid release schedule" which included Nintendo's Super Smash Bros. Brawl (pictured), Ubisoft's Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 and EA's Army of Two. During February US software sales were up 47 percent to $668.7 million.
On the console front, Sebastian expects "stable hardware sales trends in March data". Last month's NPD data revealed that, during February, Nintendo sold 432,000 Wii units. In comparison, Sony shifted 281,000 PS3s and Microsoft 255,000 Xbox 360s. Nintendo DS sales hit 588,000 units, while 243,000 Sony PSPs were snapped up.