March 22, 2006, 9:48 AM — Last week's announcement that Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) will delay the introduction of its PlayStation 3 game console was seen by many as a chance for Microsoft Corp. to consolidate its early lead in the next-generation console market. However, the delay of the PlayStation 3 is unlikely to hurt SCEI in the long run, according to analyst firm In-Stat.
"Sony will continue its domination of the video [game] console market through 2010," In-Stat said.
The PlayStation 3 will account for slightly more than 50 percent of all next-generation console sales through 2010, extending SCEI's domination of the game console market, In-Stat said. Microsoft will take 28.6 percent of sales, while Nintendo Co. Ltd.'s Revolution console will have a market share of 21.2 percent, it said.
While the relatively early launch of the Xbox 360 will not threaten sales of the PlayStation 3, Microsoft's head start will give it an edge over Nintendo, In-Stat said. Other factors that will boost Xbox 360 over the Revolution are its strong market position in North America and appeal to older gamers, it said.
Between now and 2010, 2006 is expected to be the slowest year for console sales, In-Stat said. Sales this year are expected to be around 25 million units. This figure will rise to about 39 million next year and hit 42 million the year after, In-Stat said.