Is Take-Two's 'GTA: Chinatown Wars' A Hit Or A Miss?


Monthly video game numbers from research firm NPD Group are coming out after the bell on April 16, but industry watchers are already making a few predictions for March games.

Things we’re looking out for:

– Overall, it seems analysts are expecting March video game sales flat to slightly down year-over-year, with March 2008 making for tough comparisons after the success of Super Smash Bros: Brawl last year.

– The big question will be how well Take-Two’s (TTWO) Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars for the Nintendo DS performs. Sales estimates range from 450,000 on the high end, with Cowen’s Doug Creutz writing this morning his channel checks indicate sales of 200,000 to 250,000 are more likely.

GTA Chinatown enjoys stellar reviews, but is possibly awkwardly positioned: Gameplay “features” drug dealing and sex, but the Nintendo DS console has a reputation as a platform primarily for children.

– Possible good news for Sony (SNE) for March: Wedbush Morgan’s Michael Pachter is predicting more PS3 catchup, with perhaps 350,000 PS3 sales to 400,000 for the Xbox after the high-profile PS3 exclusive Killzone 2. Shocking news would be for Sony to actually beat Microsoft for the month — but we don’t see it happening.

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