The NPD results for the final month of 2012 is due out this Thursday. Ahead of the report there are all sorts of analytical breakdowns of the performance in video game retail sales and, of course, what would an NPD forecast be without Wedbush Morgan Securities analyst Michael Pachter chiming in? It would be a much better forecast, I can tell you that much.
Anyway, GameIndustry.biz shared notes from Pachter about his outlook for the NPD's upcoming report, and he says that sales will continue to be flat in the retail sector and there will likely be an 11% decline in software sales, due in part to poor performance of the Wii U and a struggling attachment rate. He also notes that the decline will be "due to continuing gamer fatigue and sustained Nintendo weakness."
I have no idea how Nintendo's weakness plays into poor software retail sales. Let's be honest here, there wasn't one system that launched in the history of game systems that had a truly spectacular line-up of killer apps right out of the gate. Usually it's about a year in before we actually see something noteworthy for a new system. Still, Pachter states that Halo 4 didn't quite live up to “lofty” expectations but the Wii U was the real disappointment with its “underwhelming launch” and “continued weakness” in the marketplace.
There is a silver lining to all this, though, and it's that next-gen consoles from Sony and Microsoft could help balance out the failed state of the software retail industry. According to Pachter...
"It is clear to us that those companies who primarily focused on traditional gamers were largely unscathed by the declines over the last few years, and those same companies will disproportionately benefit once traditional gamers drive industry sales into positive territory in 2014 and beyond,"
He also believes that BioShock: Infinite, Grand Theft Auto V and Dead Space 3 will help rebound some of the decline that's been in result of “gamer fatigue”.