This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Game Makers Brace for Console Cycle

With the current generation of video game consoles starting to age, game developers were expected to have an unimpressive harvest in 2004. Instead, game-software sales were up about 9% through November, according to industry estimates. And in response to the better-than-expected results, stocks in the sector thrived.

But with the next generation of consoles expected to debut in the coming year, developers might not be so fortunate. Software sales often have withered during past console transitions while development costs have mushroomed. Although industry executives have promised to do a better job of tending their businesses this time around, analysts disagree about how 2005 will turn out.

"It's a tougher call than it normally is," said Steve Monticelli, president of Mosaic Investments. (Monticelli doesn't have a stake in any of the video-game-software stocks.)

On one side, many analysts believe sales will be flat at best next year. The average price of games likely will fall as consumers anticipate the debut of the new consoles, they say. And the appearance of new hardware -- particularly two new handheld game machines -- could cut into software sales, they say.

"The consumer doesn't have unlimited funds," said Joe Spiegel, a fund manager with Dalek Capital. "The handheld market is likely to grow, but that money has to come out of somewhere." (Spiegel doesn't have a position in any of the video game-software stocks.)

But some analysts think 2005 could see plentiful sales. The new handheld platforms likely will boost software sales this year as consumers buy games to go with their new devices, said Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pacther, predicting that the overall game-software market will grow 10% next year. (Wedbush Morgan has not done any recent investment banking business for the major public gaming companies.)

1 of 3

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,025.65 -13.84 -0.08%
S&P 500 1,992.18 -0.19 -0.01%
NASDAQ 4,545.1080 +13.0040 0.29%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs