California-based game industry research firm DFC Intelligence has released forecasts indicating that the worldwide gaming industry will balloon to over $47 billion by 2009, an increase of about $14 billion over current numbers.

Online gaming and its accompanying advertisements, as well as the hand-held gaming market, figured largely into its calculations.

“Revenue from portable game software has more than doubled in recent years and we think that the Nintendo DS could eventually become the best selling game system ever in five years,” DFC analyst David Cole said.

The firm also used a variety of predictive methods to estimate a combined unit sales of between 180 to 210 million units by 2012 for the three major consoles.

Notably, the fortunes of the Wii and PS3 were boosted and those of the 360 were lowered in all three forecasts.

“We could have a situation where the Wii sells more hardware units, but by 2012 the PlayStation 3 is generating more software revenue,” Cole said, adding that the 360 would need to diversify its geographic appeal to “avoid being in a fairly distant third.”


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