Analyst makes prediction, blogosphere makes headlines, terrorists win.
The group predicts that the PS3 will capture 44 percent of cumulative console sales in North America by 2011, with 30 million units sold. Microsoft is expected to sell nearly 27 million units, taking up 40 percent of the market, while the Wii is forecasted to sell a little over 11 million units, accounting for just 16 percent of the market.
This news, coming hot on the heels of wild predictions already made by practically everyone under the sun (including this editor) that Sony's ailing Blu-Ray gamble, their outrageous asking price for the PS3, Microsoft's one-year lead in securing market share and Nintendo's far more affordable and innovative console would spell the long-standing console king's doom this holiday season.
Meanwhile, using The Escapist's own time-traveling device, I ventured back to March of this year to capture this quote from ... (wait for it) ... Yankee Group analyst Michael Goodman, from newsfactor.com:
We will see a manufacturing battle between Microsoft and Sony for the next 12 months or so, with Microsoft pressing its advantage of being first to deliver a next-generation console. Every unit they sell until the launch of PS3 extends the gap that Sony has to close.
If they start shipping in November, Sony will be supply-constrained during the holiday sales period, when about 50 percent to 60 percent of all gaming consoles are purchased. They plan to produce about three million units by the end of December, which means there will be millions of people looking for a new console who won't be able to buy the PS3 and will turn to the Xbox, which will be able to meet demand.
There's a lot of advantages that Microsoft has. They're in second-generation software, they have an installed base, they're out before Sony ... This is a fascinating strategic chess match that is going on between Sony and Microsoft. It's punch and counterpunch.
In this piece, Goodman predicts Sony will hold onto 45 percent of the market share for this generation of game consoles, versus 40 percent for Microsoft. Which is a full point lower than his prediction quoted today by Next-Gen.
What does all of this mean? Either market factors are causing a downward shift in the statistical vectoring over at Yankee, or they're just making stuff up.
As much as I respect the opinion of the high-profile analysts, I have to go with Nostradamus on the next-gen console wars. According to his predictions, in 2011, the console maker wearing a blue turban (Nintendo) will burn at five and forty degrees (hell will freeze over - grandmas will play videogames) while two leaders (Microsoft and Sony) long shall wage a fruitless war (Xbox360 vs. PS3). One day the two great leaders will be friends and their great powers will be seen to grow (Microsoft will purchase Sony, dogs and cats will live together - total anarchy).