The gaming industry never rests, not even for New Year celebrations, so business analyst firm Research and Markets didn't rest, either. They're the first major firm to release future game industry predictions in 2007 with a project entitled, "The Transforming Global Video Games Market: the Emergence of Next Generation Gaming."
Obviously, they were looking at Sony's PlayStation 3, Microsoft's Xbox 360, and the Nintendo Wii. As we reported earlier , Microsoft scored a narrow victory in the 2006 holiday season, but Research and Markets predicts that Sony will eventually emerge victorious.
In other words, the prediction is that the PS3 will hold the largest market share, with 75 million units sold worldwide by 2010. But at the same time, this isn't a dominating number, which means they don't expect another one-sided contest like last generation with the PS2. They're attributing the smaller gap to "late launch issues" and the full year head-start of the Xbox 360 (which the PS2 had over the Xbox between 2000 and 2001).
The firm didn't release their sales expectations for either the 360 or Wii in today's press release, but they have expressed a few opinions. Some of the topics discussed included "Xbox 360 is close on the heels of the PS3 overall," "The US is expected to be the largest next-generation console market by 2010," and "The handheld market is no longer a one horse race."
That last topic is intriguing, especially considering the Nintendo DS's lead over the PSP. However, the latter system had a solid 2006 and also enjoyed good sales during the last few months of the year, so perhaps the company foresees a closer race between the two portables. As for the three consoles, we don't yet know how they feel about the Wii, or where it will ultimately place in the next-gen war.