According to analysts, February 2009 saw a year-on-year decline from February 2008 in U.S. software sales. But wait - according to other analysts, February 2009 saw a year-on-year increase. Make up your minds, guys.
According to market research firm EEDAR's Jesse Divnich, February 2009 would be the first year-on-year shrinkage in software sales since October 2008 - before that, the last decrease was April 2007. Of course, in a heavily hurting economy, the idea that people might not have as much disposable income to spend on games as they used to is hardly a farfetched idea.
EEDAR believes that February will tally up to $659 million, down 2% from this time last year. Furthermore, Divnich says that the industry could see year-on-year decline in March and April as well, due to the lack of heavy hitters like Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Grand Theft Auto IV.
But wait! Wedbush Morgan's ubiquitous Michael Pachter says "Nuh-uh" to EEDAR's numbers. Pachter thinks that February 2009 will show an increase over Feb. 2008, driven by the sales of Street Fighter IV, GTA IV: The Lost and the Damned, and Killzone 2. Pachter's numbers tally in at 710 million, a yearly increase of 5%.
Clearly, one of them will be right, and the other one will be left feeling kind of dumb. I myself predict an increase over 2009 of exactly $40 - entirely due to the fact that I purchased Onechanbara: Bikini Samurai Squad for review purposes.
Though, come to think of it, why couldn't both be right, in a sense? February 2008 was a leap year, after all, and had one extra day of sales. The loss of 1/29th of the month would easily account for the 2% loss EEDAR predicts, but sales could be up on a per-day basis, making Pachter's position of growth possible too.
Or maybe they're just making things up. Who knows? We'll find out on Thursday when NPD releases the official figures.