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April 2012 Software Sales are Not Looking Good

It seems like 2012 is off to a rocky start.

Software sales numbers have been on a steady decline since the beginning of the year, and according to NPD’s release of April’s numbers, sales are down 42%, exceeding analyst’s predictions of  a 25-27% decline. In April of last year we saw sales numbers sitting at a modest $503 million. This April, they fell to $292 million.

Put simply, software sales are way, way down, with virtually all platforms taking some kind of hit. And, if this trend continues, they could hit a new six-year low.

To avoid a mood of doom and gloom, consumers can stay cautiously optimistic about the future. Certainly, the beginning of 2012 has seen a slow burn in the way of major releases, with only a handful of titles doing exceptionally well outside of the rest of the market’s mediocre numbers. And with the delay of several big titles such as BioShock: Infinite and Tomb Raider, it’s going to be up to the big AAA releases like Halo 4, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, and Assassin’s Creed III to pick us up again in the later part of the year. So, while it’s slow now, it’s a given that we’ll see a definite increase come fall and the Holiday season.

And with E3 around the corner, we can expect to see a litany of announcements that will get buzz going around new game titles and upcoming releases. Companies have already teased announcements and have begun playing with ideas that might just be what the doctor ordered to get numbers going again.

Specifically Microsoft, who has begun offering a $99 Xbox 360 with Kinect and a two-year Xbox Live Gold membership plan. While the distribution of the offer is fairly exclusive, some analysts think that Microsoft is gearing up to release the bundle to the more mainstream market come E3.

Sony also has teased a slew of new titles to be announced at E3, and analysts have predicted that the PS3 (and possibly the Vita) will get a price cut before the end of the year.

Of course, Nintendo is gearing up to have a massive release of their new console, the Wii U. Aside from speculation and tech demos, we still don’t know a lot about it, and E3 will be critical for Nintendo to get us fully acquainted with the new console before its release.

It’s pretty evident that no matter what way you look at it, the news isn’t good, and the pressure is on for these companies to deliver in order to keep the market from taking another hit. But stay positive, friends; this is not at all doomsday. The best is yet to come.



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