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500k 3DS sales in the US in March - analysts

Xbox 360 expected to be last month's leading home console

Game industry analysts have weighed in with US sales predictions for the month of March ahead of the NPD Group's release of official market data this Thursday.

Wedbush and EEDAR analysts Michael Pachter and Jesse Divnich have both predicted 500,000 3DS sales during the system's first five days on sale in the region, the handheld having launched on March 27.

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Meanwhile, Xbox 360 is forecast to be the top selling home console for the month, and software sales are expected to be headed by Crysis 2, Dragon Age II, Pokémon Black & White and Homefront.

Hardware sales estimates, Wedbush / EEDAR (year-over-year change):
3DS - 500,000 / 500,000
360 - 480,000 (+42%) / 515,000 (+52%)
Wii - 410,000 (-26%) / 400,000 (-28%)
PS3 - 380,000 (+21%) / 410,000 (+31%)
DS - 350,000 (-50%) / 380,000 (-46%)
PSP - 130,000 (+8%) / 118,000 (-2%)
PS2 - 25,000 (-79%) / N/A
Total - 2,275,000 (+6%) / 2,323,000 (+8%)

Last month, the NPD Group placed new restrictions on the release of US hardware and software sales data to the media. Having already removed sales figures from its own monthly reports, the retail monitor warned analysts not to supply any confidential sales data to press.

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