WMS Runs Hot for Xbox 360; Cold on PS3WMS is predicting monthly sales of 250,000 units of Xbox 360 in August and September, up to 400,000 units in October, and between 750,000 – 1.25 million units monthly in November and December. Meanwhile, the firm has downgraded its predictions for PS3 sales from 3 million to 2.3 million. In a posting today, the analyst also added that “sell through of Xbox 360 hardware could be higher if the supply situation for the PS3 falls well short of demand, with many holiday gift givers likely substituting purchases of the 360 in place of the PS3”. Through July, NPD data shows that Xbox 360 hardware sales in the U.S. were 2.2 million units. By WMS stats, the installed base should be clear of 5 million by the end of the year. WMS is also predicting industry-wide year-on-year sales increase of 7% for the month of August, when NPD releases its monthly stats later this week. The analyst reckons on a sales increase up to $360 million. However, the firm warned of more “volatility” in publisher share prices until “the launch quantities of the PS3 and Wii are more certain.” WMS estimate reflects $140 million in sales contribution from new platforms (Xbox 360, PSP and DS) representing year-over-year growth of $108 million. The U.S. hardware installed base currently stands at 13 million next generation consoles (including handhelds) as of the end of July 2006 (up from 8 million at year end 2005). The stats expect current generation software sales of $220 million, reflecting a decline of 28% (or $86 million) compared to last year. Sales growth over the last four months has averaged a robust 11%, and though WMS expects a slower rate of growth in August, the firm expects double-digit sales growth to return in September and to continue through November. Reflecting its increasingly upbeat postings in recent months, WMS expects overall 2006 U.S. sales to be higher than 2005 levels. It has forecast combined U.S. and European software sales to grow more than 3% in 2006, 15% in 2007, and 15% in 2008. "We are lowering our expectations for PS3 sales in 2006 from 3.0 million to 2.3 million, lowering our forecast for PSP sales from 8.5 million to 7.4 million, and increasing our expectation for DS sales from 6.5 million to 8.0 million."