Market-research firm The NPD Group isn’t releasing the official October video game sales number until later this week, but the analysts at Wedbush Securities are predicting a healthy month before November’s onslaught of new systems.

Wedbush expects software sales up 34 percent compared to last year’s October, for a total of $580 million. This is thanks to a number of high-profile releases, including Battlefield 4, Skylanders: Swap Force, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, Batman: Arkham Origins, and Pokémon X and Y. September’s Grand Theft Auto V, which broke all sorts of sales records, should also help October’s numbers.

Looking at hardware sales, Webush predicts 75,000 Wii U units (down 21 percent from September), 165,000 for the Xbox 360 (down 39 percent from last year), and 170,000 for the PlayStation 3 (up 1 percent from last year). If so, then this will mark the PlayStation 3’s second straight month on top. Previously, the Xbox 360 enjoyed a 32-month reign as the best-selling console.

Webush also expects the Nintendo 2DS, the cheaper, 3D-less take on the company’s popular 3DS portable system which debuted on Oct. 12, to have moved 80,000 units for the month.

It’ll be interesting to see how much longer the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 can stay relevant in the market after their successors, the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, come out later this month. The NPD numbers for October should come out on Thursday.

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Michael Pachter is an oft-quoted video game, social media, digital media and electronics analyst with Wedbush Securities. He is also the Head of Research for the Private Shares Group, a Wedbush division which focuses on companies which... read more »

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