Wall Street analysts on Monday painted a gloomy picture for holiday video game sales, citing excess inventories and muted sales -- days after top industry executives insisted sales were not all that bad.
"Channel checks at over 90 domestic retail locations have revealed less than exciting video game software sales trends thus far this holiday season," U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray analyst Tony Gikas said in a note released on Monday.
"Many retailers indicated that soft sales are the result of few "hot" new titles, slow hardware sales, high software price points, and increased competition for consumers' home entertainment dollars as newer technologies become more affordable," he said.
The holiday season is when most game publishers make a significant portion of their revenue and profits, and a bad holiday can put a publisher into a lengthy slide, leading the financial community to watch closely any indicators of good or bad sales.
J.P. Morgan Securities, in a survey of 20 Wal-Mart Stores Inc. stores and 20 Electronics Boutique Holdings Corp. stores, found that about half had too much inventory.
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