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Analyst Says Sony, Microsoft Will Drop Console Prices

By Chris Tribbey | Posted: 13 Jan 2009

Sony will drop the price of its 80GB PlayStation 3 by $100 to $299 this April, predicts Wedbush Morgan Securities analyst Michael Pachter, and Microsoft will have no choice but to follow suit and slash $50 off its Xbox 360 Pro model this summer.

Pachter said that 3.25 million Nintendo Wiis, 1.35 million Xbox 360s, and 750,000 PS3s were sold in December, boosting overall video gaming sales up 10% over December 2007, to $2.625 billion. Pachter’s research and predictions come just days before research firm NPD Group releases its December video game sales data Jan. 15.

“We think that concerns about weakening consumer demand for video games are overblown,” Pachter wrote in his analysis. “In our view the best indicator of future demand is hardware unit sellthrough, and we expect a robust 9.15 million hardware units sold in December, up 13% year-over-year.”

Pachter’s forecast comes as Japanese media reports that both Sony and format war rival Toshiba will post huge financial losses for 2008. Several news agencies are reporting that when the companies announce their third quarter earnings Jan. 29, Sony will post a loss of more than $1 billion and Toshiba a loss of more than $2 billion.

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