It makes sense to move forward now since the busy season is almost upon us once again and there should be plenty of data to cover. New releases should be hitting retail with more frequency in the coming weeks and months, the 3DS XL lands in stores in just a few days, and the launch of the WiiU will be closely watched to see how consumers react to the first new console to see release since 2006.
Here are some stories and situations to watch as this week begins:
1. Rumors of a GameStop (GME) buyout have been making the rounds over the past few days. Interestingly, the share price soared more than 5% during the last trading day and has risen nearly $2 in the last week. GameStop will be discussing its AMJ earnings on Thursday morning, so we'll see how investors react.
2. Speaking of rumors, two separate rumors surrounding WiiU include a possible announcement of pricing and/or release date this week, as well as a rumor that production woes may delay the hardware launch in Europe and could significantly impact supply in the US. Current thinking is that WiiU will ship in mid-November for $300 in the US, likely with a Nintendo Land pack-in. Stay tuned.
3. With PlayStation Vita sales falling under 50,000 units for the month of July, it's a bit disconcerting to hear Sony Computer Entertainment America President and CEO Jack Tretton say that sales of the struggling handheld are "acceptable". I'm not sure how a platform with such a strong slate of software at launch can be deemed to be selling at an acceptable level when its competitor is outselling it by nearly 2:1 in 2012 and that LTD sales are still short of 700,000 through its first six NPD periods. More games are obviously needed, but the question of a price cut is made more complicated by Sony's increasingly more challenging financial situation.
Look for my full analysis of July's NPD data during this week over at Popzara Press. Furthermore, expect my analysis to appear on other sites as well throughout the rest of 2012 and beyond. As always, questions and comments are welcome either below or via e-mail.