Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter predicts that Sony will push Microsoft into third place by 2015.
With the Wii firmly ensconced as the king of this generation, it's the race for second place that is the really interesting one and analyst Michael Prachter predicts that it is a race that Sony will eventually win.
In a company report, he wrote: "We think that the PS3 will capture significant market share, primarily due to Sony's victory in the high definition DVD format war, and will end up in second place by 2015. Although Microsoft's Xbox 360 enjoyed a first mover advantage, we think that its market position will fade to third place due to lack of penetration in Japan."
Of course, it's no mystery that Microsoft are struggling to get a foothold in Japan, a country that is traditionally Nintendo and Sony territory, but Pachter doesn't think that being relegated to third will necessarily hurt Microsoft, thanks to the ubiquity of Xbox Live:
"With over 10 million members (only 1 million of whom are Xbox Live Gold members), the Netflix installed base has an incentive to purchase an Xbox 360 and to join Xbox Live," he continued. "We expect the pace of game and movie downloads to increase exponentially over the next few years, and estimate that Microsoft generates over $100 million in profit annually from downloads."
"Microsoft has positioned the Xbox 360 to be an Internet and Entertainment hub in the living room. With the rollout of Project Natal expected in late 2010, we think that Microsoft will position itself as a centerpiece of the living room. We envision the addition of Internet television, video on demand, and open Internet access over the coming years, once Microsoft has decided how best to monetize its product offering."
Pachter's predictions make a certain amount of sense, but they are exactly that; predictions. Will Sony sort-of-win this round of the console war? We'll have to wait a while to find out.