Lazard Capital Markets has unveiled the company’s US hardware and software forecast ahead of the latest NPD figures, predicting a spike in PlayStation 3 sales thanks to the recent price cut in North America.
Firm analyst Colin Sebastian predicts that Sony’s next-generation console is likely to experience "sequentially higher sales following the price cut”, referring to Sony’s decision to slash USD 100 off the recommended retail price of PS3 last month. Furthermore, Sebastian notes that sales of Microsoft’s competing Xbox 360 console "might lag somewhat due to greater publicity in July surrounding hardware malfunctions."
He also forecast a strong performance for PlayStation 2, though unsurprisingly anticipated overall sales in July "to reflect ongoing strong demand for Nintendo's Wii and DS, as both platforms are likely to remain in short supply throughout much of the year."
Software sales are also expected to rise somewhere in the region of 15 – 20 per cent, with Sebastian observing, "While July is still a seasonally slow period for video-game sales, we note there were several high profile new title releases during the month, including NCAA Football 08 (ERTS), Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the '80s (ATVI), and Mario Strikers Charged (Nintendo)”.
The NPD Group is expected to reveal full July hardware and software figures on August 23rd – stay tuned for further coverage.