The month of October was good to the Nintendo (OTC BB: NTDOY) Wii console. Actually, every month seems to be good to the Wii console. According to the latest sales figures, the Wii sold over 800,000 units during the Halloween season. Nothing scary about that.
Of course, Sony (NYSE: SNE) probably was a little spooked. The company's PlayStation 3 system came in a distant third to the Wii. Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) probably felt all right. The Xbox 360 came in second place, fueled by a recent price cut. Believe it or not, you can actually get a video game system for less money than it costs to acquire a Wii. The Xbox 360 version without a hard drive goes for $199. Still, people are willing to pay a premium for casual gaming.
After I got through checking out the hardware sales, I wanted to see how software had performed last month over at Gamespot. I have to admit, I was pretty shocked to learn of the "conspicuously absent" Guitar Hero World Tour game. That bugged me because one of the prime reasons I own shares of Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ: ATVI) is the Guitar Hero franchise. However, one thing to keep in mind is that the title still has time to chart. It was released the last week of October, so perhaps the November rankings will be kind to it. Also, the new Call of Duty war adventure hit the street this week. Anecdotally, I know there's a lot of interest in that game.
Sales of video-game hardware and software did well last month (total industry revenues advanced 18%), but not all video game-related investment ideas are built the same.
I own Activision Blizzard as I've mentioned, but I'm not too keen on THQ (NASDAQ: THQI) and Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) at the moment. Microsoft is a name you can own for reasons other than video games, but I would exclude Sony from any discussion of potential investments.
Nintendo is an interesting one. I'm not sure it will trend back to its 52-week low anytime soon, but I definitely would want to get this one on a pullback. Going back to an anecdotal perspective, I know the Wii has been easier to get in my area than it has been in recent months (the Wii Fit, however, is still sort of difficult to snag). Seeing that makes me desire Nintendo ADR's in the low 30's.
Disclosure: I own Activision Blizzard; positions can change at any time.