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How To Score GTA IV

Perhaps you've heard: A video game called Grand Theft Auto IV comes out tomorrow. Game critics (yup, they exist) are already extolling the game as the year's best, and the New York Times' game critic (yup, the NYT has several), who says he has spent 60 hours (!) playing the game in a Manhattan hotel room (!), and calls the game the best in the GTA franchise.

So GTA is going to sell just fine. The question: Will it sell well enough to save publisher Take-Two (TTWO) from being taken over by EA (ERTS) at $25.74/share?

TTWO chairman Strauss Zelnick seems to think so: He's argued for months once investors see how well the game sells, they'll bid up TTWO shares and force EA to up its offer. Silicon Alley Insider doesn't think so: We think GTA sales are already built into the share price. But if the game blows away expectations, that might change. Here's what analysts are predicting:

Michael Pachter, Wedbush Morgan: 6 million shipped in first week, 9 million for 2008

Ben Schachter, UBS: 6-8 million in first week, 10.5 million for the year

Mike Hickey, Janco Partners: 5.8 million in first week

Daniel Ernst, Hudson Square: 13 million in 2008

If TTWO sells 6 million games in the first week, that will translate into about $360 million in retail sales. Microsoft's (MSFT) Halo 3 did $300 million in its first week in late September, but that game was only released for the Xbox 360, whereas GTA IV is coming out for both the PS3 (SNE) and Xbox 360. Microsoft released Halo numbers for the first week 9 days after the game came out; if TTWO uses the same schedule, the results will be out on May 8.

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aiphanes3490d ago

10 million unit sales in the first week for GTA4....we all know this baby is going to sell more than Halo 3....plus it is on both the PS3 and Xbox 360....

20 million units sales in 2008...

And it has higher reviews than Halo 3...plus it is the greatest GTA game ever....and the online portion of the game is killer.

10 million units in the first week...

Since this game is so hot...it is going to bring all the PS2 users into the PS3 fold....the Wii users will want this game too...so they will go Xbox 360 arcade or 40 GB PS3...Whoever has the most consoles in the channel will pick up the winnings...

If sony can get the 40GB PS3 with GTA4 packed in...into the states....its a done deal...