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Analyst: Current Console Cycle To Extend Through 2013
Analyst: Current Console Cycle To Extend Through 2013
June 29, 2009 | By Matt Matthews

June 29, 2009 | By Matt Matthews
More: Console/PC

In a new report from Wedbush Morgan Securities, industry analyst Michael Pachter explains that the current console hardware cycle should extend through at least 2013 with an increasing focus on digital downloads and other supplemental revenue streams.

The report, entitled "Money for Nothing, How Ancillary Revenues Can Extend The Console Cycle", predicts that the Nintendo Wii will be the dominant console by the end of the present hardware cycle, based primarily on its lower price and novel input method, the Wii remote. While the Xbox 360 is currently presumed to be in second place globally, the report suggests that by 2015 the PlayStation 3 could have displaced Microsoft's console on the strength of Blu-Ray's dominance in the high-definition media market.

In 2009, the report explains that the Nintendo Wii will account for 49 percent of the American and European console videogame market revenues (excluding older systems such at the PlayStation 2) while the Xbox 360 will capture 29 percent. The PlayStation 3 will lag behind at 22 percent.

However by 2011, the last year for which the report provides specific figures, the PlayStation 3 is expected to increase its share to an even 26 percent -- same as the Xbox 360 that year -- with the Wii share dropping marginally to 48%. It is worth noting that the growth in revenue will more than offset the expected losses in marketshare and that all three systems are expected to demonstrate increased revenues even as the marketshare distribution shifts.

In Japan the market will be dominated by Nintendo, who will command a share of more than 65% in its home market by 2011, according to the report.

On the subject of hardware itself, Mr. Pachter ties together several trends in the market today. On the subject of high-definition graphics, a Wii Plus (HD) console is expected by the end of 2010 at a price of just under $200. Such a system would have the potential to pull even more marketshare from the competition -- Microsoft and Sony -- as the Wii continues extraordinary growth through at least the next two years.

Moreover, the report suggests that through the next ten years local storage on videogame systems will grow to 1 terabyte, and that in the near term the expansion of digitally distributed software (i.e. through an internet connection) will be approximately exponential. Despite this growth, the current expectation is that consumers will never fully abandon physical media and that in 2019 digitally distributed software will still account for only 50 percent of all software sales.

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Ken Masters
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Analysts and their crystal balls... I tell ya.

steve roger
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I doubt that the Wii will dominate Japan to that extent. The PS3 has a lot more adaptability and high-def media features that will allow it to become more popularity over time with many, many downloadable game options. However, the Wii will not have the legs due to the limitations of the hardware specs.

The only way the Wii will dominate to that extent is if a HD version comes out.

Ryan Jones
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@ Steve, the article metioned a HD version for 2010.

@ Matt, what where the forecasts 2 years ago for the Wii. I love how something catches on and now analysts get some numbers together and say in 5 years this is what will happen. Anytime a prediction is made it should be documented and then we can go back and see a person's history and see how full of it they are. Natal was not even mentioned and is going to has a possible HUGE impact on gaming and the way audiances are drawn to games as much as the Wii and Iphone have influenced gaming. Huge ommision there and when projecting 5 years out should have been at least accounted for.

Ryan Jones
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sorry for the bad grammer, rushed out like so many titles before it was ready.

[User Banned]
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This user violated Gamasutra’s Comment Guidelines and has been banned.

Fiore Iantosca
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I welcome the slowdown in the console market. It will give more time for developers to develop better game, utilizing the consoles' power better.

John Mason
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A lot of times I get the feeling the analyst's word and thought is no more "accurate" than any gamer who pays attention to current industry news and has an understanding about gaming history themselves; that's not so much dissing either group, just saying that b/c someone has the title of "analyst" doesn't make them automatically more correct,...on anything. Analysts have been proven so wrong so many times it's not even funny, and these predictions here don't seem likely. Granted, I DO believe this console cycle (for atleast two of the consoles) will be slightly longer than average, but that has a bit to do w/ the slow adaption rate (seeemingly) for the consoles (other than the Wii) versus last generation...and actually, it's not even that slow. Both Gamecube and Xbox pushed about 20 mil or so, and the PS3 and 360 are already at that mark at relatively the same time. But that being said, I'd be worried more for the 360 since it's had a year head-start on the PS3 and Wii and it's "true" competitor isn't really that far behind anymore, sales-wise and library-wise.

All that being said, I can't predict just how much longer this console cycle'll last, and I kinda doubt the claims on DDGs having a low percentage rep. for sold games in the future too. Like I always's just an analyst; just one other person's opinion. Take it for what you will.

Mario N
profile image that like when you check the weather forecast for 2 weeks in the future?

Christopher Plummer
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What good would another "true" console do Sony and Microsoft when the majority of consumers are showing that they'd prefer a Wii-like reimagination of the same console instead?

I think Pachter speaks the truth here for the HD giants. Both spent billions getting their Trojan Horses in our homes and it wasn't so that they could only sell us games. By 2013 they will all be getting serious revenue from movies, music, online licensing, advertisement revenue, and games.

I'm not so sure he understands the Wii though. I don't think Nintendo is serious about fighting with Sony and Microsoft over marketshare. They'll stick to being unique. There's no need for them to make an HD console and doing so would just open a bridge for the HD giants to cross into their territory - not the other way around.

Jackie Yoshi
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I'm not really surprised, seeing as this is the first generation of console games that have downloading capabilities. It's easy to update the current consoles from online, so there really is no need to develop new consoles for a while.