Sony's PlayStation 3 got off to a slow start when it launched at a high price point in 2006, but today the console is gaining traction and its base will continue to grow this year, one analyst said this week.
David Mercer with Strategy Analytics said PS3 reached 31 percent of the global video game console market share during first quarter 2010. In a new report, he said the growth will endure.
"The PS3 continues to benefit from the price cut last September," said Mercer, principal analyst at Strategy Analytics. "This should help the PS3 maintain growth momentum throughout 2010." A press release for the report did not state Strategy Analytics' 2009 PS3 market share estimates.
Sony last year cut the price of the PS3 to $299 and introduced the slim model. Combined with a revamped marketing campaign, exclusive games and more available Blu-ray movies, the price reduction sparked increased consumer interest in the successor to the previously dominant PS2.
Mercer forecast that globally, the PS3 will sell 14 million units this year, while Wii wil sell 17.5 million and Xbox 360 will sell 10.5 million. The firm said that it expects global console sales to decline by 9 percent this year.
The analyst noted that Q1 is typically a slow quarter, but said it provides a good indicator for relative sales performance of each console.
He added, "The introduction of the Natal technology should also help re-energize Microsoft’s Xbox 360 platform in the second half of the year." Microsoft has yet to announce a release date for the controller-free 3D camera, but is expected to launch the device by the holidays.
Strategy Analytics noted that there are some "major uncertainties" this year that could change the projected outcome of the console war, including the extent of the Wii's decline and the impact of the PlayStation Move and Project Natal.