Through to 2008, the analysts predict that the Xbox 360 will shift 19.6 million units whilst the PlayStation 3 will lag behind with 15.5 million units, and Nintendo's Revolution will shift only 5 million units, based on late 2006 releases for both the PS3 and the Revolution.
In other areas the analysts predict a 45% increase in handheld hardware sales between now and 2011, which fits in with the heated competition which we're currently seeing as the likes of the PlayStation Portable, GameBoy DS and Gizmondo among others scrap over users and features.
The GameBoy line (including the DS) is expected to have a spectacular 2005 with a rather spectacular 7.5 million units shifted compared to the PSP's expected 3.8 million. However in the years following the two companies are expected to run neck and neck in the handheld consoles business, shifting 5.5 million, five million, and six million each in 2006, 2007 and 2008.
The analysts also expect Sony "to launch the next generation of its PSP (including an audio/video hard-drive) in mid-2006", which is a rather interesting assumption we think, though we can well imagine the PSP becoming an ongoing family of generations.
On the software side the analysts are also predicting hay making to be done, with a 43% increase in software sales by 2008 and new revenue streams such as in-game advertising and online downloading set to grow by 500%.
Finally the analysts cautioned investors against throwing their money in during the next 12 months which will be rather volatile, though they reiterated their outperform notices on major publishers Electronic Arts, Activision, THQ, and Take-Two Interactive. µ
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