June 2011 Sales Estimates Place Next-Generation Pressure on Sony and Microsoft

Rumors of the next generation of consoles have been rampant over the past 12 months, and the major, albeit predictable, announcement of the Wii U at E3 last month has put the gossip into hyperdrive. While many defend the assertion that the PlayStation 3 is completely capable of staying competitive in the technological arena, a huge feat when you consider it came out in 2006, falling sales could spur quicker development of next-generation consoles if the numbers aren’t up to expectations.

Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter has estimated that console sales have dropped noticeably in the past few months, with June producing a 21% average decline year-over-year on all three modern consoles. This number is alarming when combined with May’s official drop of 14%, equalling one of the worst months in the entire generation. Supposedly, Nintendo was hit hardest, and was 23% behind last year’s figures, while the PS3 and PSP were both responsible for double digit down-turn as well.

inFamous 2 was the last quality release to hit store shelves, and there really isn’t much to get excited about until September (although Catherine looks interesting). I’ve personally found myself in a rut as many of my most hyped 2011 titles are scheduled for later in the year, so I’ve picked up a PlayStation Portable and have been catching up on nearly seven years of underrated games (RPG heaven!).

Full disclosure of the June 2011 NPD numbers will be released this Thursday, and until then we’re just going to have to assume that things aren’t looking good for the industry so far this Summer.