Talk about a halo effect.
Goldman Sachs is predicting “Halo 3,” set to relase in the fall, will do at least $170 million in sales, and maybe as much as $220 million because of potentially higher average selling prices because Microsoft is also releasing premium versions.
Either way Halo’s likely to finally push Microsoft’s home and entertainment group into the black during the September quarter, reaching “slight profitability,” analyst Sarah Friar told clients today.
Friar said the Sept. 25 launch is strategic, to get ahead of “Grand Theft Auto 4,” and also partner-friendly because it’s getting out ahead of third party titles coming in the fall:
“We believe the availability of ‘Halo 3’ before the launch of ‘GTA4’ is a strategic play by Microsoft to increase sales of Xbox 360 and to take sales
away from Sony’s PS3. In our view, the audience for ‘Halo 3’ largely overlaps that of ‘GTA4,’ and thus a consumer purchasing ‘Halo 3’ will likely buy ‘GTA4’ for Xbox 360 as well. Microsoft also needed to launch ‘Halo 3’ about a month ahead of ‘GTA4’ in order to mitigate competition between the two titles and allow time later in the fall for other titles to launch, a more partner friendly strategy.”
Goldman expects MSFT to hit $36 within 12 months.