March 16th, 2006, 17:59 Posted By: wraggster
Publishers see market buoyancy as global November release cheers investors
Shares in leading game publishers were almost universally buoyed yesterday following the announcement of Sony's launch schedule for the PlayStation 3, with the stock markets reacting positively to the firm's plans for a November worldwide release.
Electronic Arts, Activision, THQ and Take Two all saw rises in yesterday's trading, as did a number of smaller publishers, as investors' fears that the PS3 could be pushed back to 2007 were finally laid to rest.
Many analysts had predicted that the PS3 would be delayed until 2007 in Europe, with some even anticipating that the US launch might not come in time for the crucial Thanksgiving and Christmas periods.
However, Sony's announcements yesterday have allayed those fears, and injected new confidence into the games sector - with some analysts even brightening their outlook on games publishers as a result, including American Technology Research analyst PJ McNealy, who upgraded both Activision and THQ from Hold to Buy on the news.
Far from any form of disappointment at Sony's failure to hit its spring 2006 launch window target with the console, then, the industry has mostly reacted positively to the prospect of having the new system out the door in time for the end of this year in every major global market - potentially, if the system if shipped in sufficient quantity, lifting the tail end of the year out of the worrying transition slump being predicted by most commentators.
However, one company whose stocks were not helped by the announcement was Sony itself. Shares in the electronics giant dropped on the Nikkei stock exchange in the wake of the announcement of the delay.
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