March 21, 2006
Sony PlayStation 3 will lead despite delays
Sony’s forthcoming PlayStation 3 will allow the company to maintain its dominance of the video game console market, according to market research firm In-Stat.
Compared to older research, the new predictions suggest that Microsoft’s Xbox 360 could actually lose market share compared to its predecessor, the Xbox, with Nintendo gaining share.
By 2010, the PS3 will hold slightly more than 50 per cent of the market, In-Stat predicts in a report announced yesterday.
This represents almost no change from Sony’s games console market share estimated in November 2005 by Gartner, which showed the new console’s predecessor, the PlayStation 2, with 51 per cent of the market.
The positive prediction for Sony comes despite serious delays which have most recently seen the PS3’s global launch date knocked back to November.
Microsoft’s Xbox 360 launched in November 2005, and Nintendo’s upcoming Revolution console is expected to complete a staggered global launch by the time the PS3 appears.
Although Microsoft’s early launch of the Xbox 360 will not be enough to push it past Sony’s predicted 50 per cent market share, it will hold 28.6 per cent of the market by 2010, believes In-Stat senior analyst, Brian O’Rourke, keeping Nintendo in third place with just over 21.2 per cent.
“Microsoft will outship Nintendo in the next generation of consoles due to its head start in launching, its strength in the North American market, and its appeal to older gamers – a demographic that seems to widen with each new generation of consoles,” said O’Rourke in a statement.
However, Gartner’s research late last year estimated that the original Xbox had a larger market share at that time – 34 per cent – than In-Stat now predicts for the Xbox 360.
The Nintendo GameCube, which has generally been acknowledged as a relatively weak performer, had just 15 per cent in Gartner’s survey.
Both Gartner’s 2005 estimates and In-Stat’s 2010 predictions are for similar points in the console’s lifecycles approximately four to five years after launch, when they are generally seen as mature, mainstream products.
As prices fall and next-generation units enter the mainstream, global shipments of all games consoles will surge past the 40 million barrier in 2008, In-Stat predicted, up from around 25 million this year.
However, higher average prices compared to previous generation models will probably prevent the new machines from setting any sales records.
After a sales peak in 2008, In-Stat sees annual shipments of games consoles sliding back below 30 million by 2010 as the current crop of next-generation machines begins to approach the end of their lifespans.