It takes a good analyst to get things right, but it takes a great analyst to admit when he was wrong, and there has been some wrong analysis out there this year, some very wrong analysis. They were wrong about game sales staying strong and even more wrong about system sales staying strong. However, Michael Pachter, game analyst extraordinaire, has admitted that he and the rest of the gaming analyst world messed up pretty bad.
“2009 appears to be an all-out miserable year for both hardware and software sales. After two consecutive phenomenal years of growth, with software sales up 34 percent and 27 percent in 2007 and 2008, respectively, it should have been evident that a slowdown was coming, but many observers (including us) were lulled into the belief that the video game software business was recession-proof. Compounding our error was the belief that Wii sales would never slow, and that the music genre could continue to grow,” he commented.
“We now see just how wrong we were. Wii hardware unit sales are down a staggering 28 percent through November. Even though combined PS3 and Xbox 360 sales are actually UP 5 percent this year, in absolute terms, the three consoles have sold almost 14 percent fewer units than in the prior year. At the same time, a lackluster lineup of games for the Wii (compared to a very robust lineup last year), software bundles with the PS3 and Xbox 360, and the effects of the recession clearly contributed to lower overall software attach rates this year.”
He went on to point out how terribly the music gaming market is doing at the moment, and that this holiday season kind of sucks in terms of games, with most of the great launches actually coming in February of next year.