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U.S. video game sales for the month of June are expected to be down 34 percent compared to a year ago, according to a forecast released overnight by analyst Michael Pachter of Wedbush Securities.

Sales are a closely watched barometer of the health of the traditional game industry; they do not include some of the fastest-growing parts of the game industry, such as social, mobile, and online games. Market researcher NPD is expected to report final numbers for the physical sales of games Thursday. Year to date overall retail game industry sales are down 25 percent.

Pachter said he expects software sales for June to hit $305 million, down 34 percent from $462 million a year ago. New releases such as Nintendo’s Pokémon Conquest (DS) and Warner Bros.’ Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes (pictured above) for the PlayStation 3, PS Vita, 360, DS, 3DS, Wii, and PC should lead the sales charts. Another strong seller is expected to be Ubisoft’s Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier.

Pachter said he believes the Nintendo Wii sold 75,000 units, down 72 percent from a year ago. The Xbox 360 likely sold 225,000 units, down 56 percent from a year ago, and the PS 3 likely sold 145,000 units, down 48 percent. For handhelds, the DS likely sold 100,000 units, down 74 percent. The 3DS likely sold 125,000 units, down 13 percent. And the PS Vita (launched earlier this year) probably sold 60,000 units.

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