NPD predicts a September sales boost of 40-60% for the PS3

We know that the PlayStation 3’s new slim look and attractive $299 price point has generated a lot of buzz for Sony’s console, but exactly how much can we expect the makeover to increase actual sales? Quite a lot, if retail marketing research firm NPD Group is right.

NPD Group’s analyst Anita Frazier believes the lower price point and slim look will increase PS3’s sales by 40-60% in September. “The $299 price point is important to getting to a point where the next segment of price-conscious consumers can jump into the market and it most certainly will re-energize sales of the platform,” Frazier said. “We would expect to see in the range of a 40% to 60% unit sales increase when September sales are reported.”

Frazier also reminds that “content is still the key motivator of a hardware purchase decision,” so if Sony’s competitors follow with price cuts of their own (which Microsoft is rumored to do just around the time the PS3 Slim hits store shelves starting next month), it will be up to the PS3’s software to keep sales going strong. But with strong exclusives like Uncharted 2: Among Thieves and Ratchet & Clank: A Crack in Time arriving this year, Sony is hardly relying on hardware alone.