In a July 2009 video games sales preview, Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter has said that he remains troubled by the decline in sales of the three major consoles, and believes "the manufacturers have made a strategic error by maintaining pricing for too long".

"The Wii remains at its November 2006 launch price of $249.99, and the core PS3 SKU has not seen a price cut since October 2007. We think that the negative software trend is less attributable to a weak software line-up, and can only conclude that until consumers are sufficiently interested in buying consoles, it will be difficult for publishers alone to drive sales higher each month," stated Pachter.

Reiterating earlier comments, Pachter added: "Fortunately, we anticipate imminent price cuts to occur soon. Rumours of an imminent price cut by Sony and a console upgrade by Microsoft are rampant. One rumoured scenario includes clearing the 80Gb PS3 model to $249 from $399 and launching a new 120 Gb PS3 Slim for $299 and clearing the 60 Gb Xbox 360 Pro at $199 and re-pricing the 120 Gb Xbox 360 Elite at $249."

He continued: "We have no information that a price cut or console upgrade is planned in the near term, although the Internet pictures of the PS3 Slim and of the new Xbox 360 packaging appear real to us. The actual pricing decision has not been leaked, and rumours of a $299 PS3 or of a $249 Xbox 360 are merely speculation, with the ultimate outcome potentially $50 higher for each.

"We do not think that either Nintendo's or Sony's console hardware forecast figures are achievable without a price cut, and we expect one by October for the PS3 with either a price cut or a different bundle for the Wii within the same time frame. We also think the Nintendo DS will be cut to $99 from $129 with the DSi cut to $149 or lower from $169. We anticipate the PSP will be cut to $129 from $169, and the PSP Go launch price of $249 to get reduced to $199 by some time in 2010."

For the month of July, Pachter estimates US video game hardware sales as such:

Wii 305,000

PS3 135,000

Xbox 360 190,000

PS2 130,000

PSP 140,000

DS 590,000

The NDP Group is expected to announce official sales figures later this week.

Carry on the conversation on the VideoGamer forums!