The NPD Group is getting ready to deliver the sales figures for the United States market for the month of December 2011 and at least one market research firm believes that they will show overall sales remaining flat or even slowing down by as much as 5 percent.Analysts at Sterne Agee say that the biggest selling video games for December will be Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Assassin's Creed: Revelations, Saints Row The Third and Just Dance 3.
The company has not said whether the titles will manage to perform better than during November and has not offered estimates for how many copies they will actually have moved during the month.
Sterne Agee estimated that the overall value of software sales for December 2011 will come in at 2.25 billion dollars (1.76 billion Euro).
The Sterne Agee predictions might mean that the United States video game market will see a decline for the first time in three months, putting a dent into expectations that a strong end to 2011 will signal an overall rebound for this year.
The research firm has not offered estimates for the United States hardware market, which is expected to show a big decline.
Michael Pachter, who is the analyst watching the video game industry for Wedbush Morgan, has estimated that the overall value of hardware sales will drop by an impressive 12 percent, mainly because Nintendo no longer managed to sell as many Wii home consoles as it once did.
For the Nintendo platform the December 2011 decline is expected to reach more than 50% when compared to the same period in 2010.
The Xbox 360 is expected to top the hardware chart, followed by the PlayStation 3 from Sony, both of them set to report increases in sales for the Christmas shopping period.