PS3 set to maintain Sony dominance – In-Stat

With Microsoft having already launched its successor to the Xbox console in December 2005, Sony’s announcement that the PS3 would be further delayed to November 2006 was bad news for the Japanese electronics giant.

There is reassurance for Sony, however, in the latest research into next-generation games consoles.

According to analysis by , Sony will continue to dominate the video console market for the coming years, despite the early lead established by the Xbox 360.

While Sony’s lead will shrink somewhat due to stronger competition from Microsoft and Nintendo, the Sony PS3 will account for more than 50 per cent of the installed base for next-generation consoles by 2010.

In-Stat believes Microsoft Xbox 360 will have 28.6 per cent of the market and the Nintendo Revolution 21.2 per cent.

On the Microsoft versus Nintendo battle, In-Stat analyst Brian O’Rourke comments: ‘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.’

The wider picture is that, in terms of shipments, In-Stat expects next-generation consoles to exceed the popularity of their current-generation cousins, despite the higher prices involved.

The importance of the console wars lies in the fact that both Sony and Microsoft now view the multi-fiunctional and powerful games machine that sits in the living room as a strategic launch pad for digital convergence within the home. In other words, the company that establishes dominance in this area has greater leverage when it comes to delivery and networking technologies for the display and storage of movies and music, as well as games.

Not forgetting the Blu-ray versus HD DVD side show, Sony is pitting the Blu-ray-based PS3 against the HD DVD next-gen optical standard that is favoured by Toshiba and Microsoft, among others. Indeed, Blu-ray technology has been blamed for delaying the appearance of the PS3 in the first place.

Apple backed Blu-ray technology early in 2005 – Apple backs Sony for a Blu-ray future.

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