Pachter predicts decline in March sales despite Mass Effect 3, Vita releases

Coming off the heels of the PS Vita launch as well as seeing the release of the critically acclaimed Mass Effect 3 couldn’t save gaming from decline of around a quarter in March. So says Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter.

According to Pachter, Thursday’s monthly NPD report will reveal that business in the US fell for the fourth consecutive month. He cited a lack of big releases for this.

He predicted revenues of $565 million, a 23 percent drop year-on-year.

“We do not expect a return to positive growth until May, which features Activision Blizzard’s Diablo III, Take-Two’s Max Payne 3, and Ubisoft’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier,” he said.

Pachter didn’t report good news for the PS Vita, either. He estimated that 125,000 systems were sold in March, which would reportedly be well below expectations.

“We believe the PS Vita is unlikely to match its February unit sales figure in the near future as the buzz caused by its release dies down, and TV commercials become more infrequent.

“We expect hardware sales to rebound once price cuts are implemented, but expect a recurrence of the dip next holiday, partially buffered by some modest contribution from the introduction of the PS Vita in February and the Wii U later this year.”

Well, it’s nothing but sunshine and rainbows for the gaming industry then (not).