Analysts forecast GTA IV hardware boost in May

Industry analysts have stated that they expect PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 sales to rise significantly this month on the strength of Grand Theft Auto IV, after game’s release failed to stimulate sales of both platforms following its release in late April.

Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter was quick to express his surprise at recent hardware sales, after April’s NPD numbers failed to showcase the spike in hardware predicted by the analyst on the strength of Rockstar’s highly anticipated crime sim.

“We were surprised by relatively weak PS3 and Xbox 360 sales, especially given the launch of Grand Theft Auto IV late in the month,” commented Pachter.

“We had expected sales of both consoles to increase month over month, as we thought that many potential console owners were waiting for the game to launch before purchasing a console.”

Lazard Capital Markets Colin Sebastian, however, notes that the game was only available on the market for five days during the April sales period, suggesting May would promote significant growth in PS3/360 adoption.

“While a pick-up in PS3 and Xbox 360 hardware sales benefiting from GTA IV is not evident in the [April NPD] data, we believe May could show some sequential improvement,” he said.

NPD’s Anita Frazier also shared this belief, adding, "… Since [GTA IV] was only in the market for five days during this reporting period, that [hardware] sales lift could very well be evident in May data."