The Xbox 360 is expected to hold only 28 per cent of the market by 2010, down from the 34 percent share of the original Xbox.
Meanwhile Nintendo will increase its slice of the market from 15 to 21 per cent, with its upcoming Revolution console. Sony will leave its current troubles behind it to remain unchanged, with the new PlayStation 3 holding about 50 per cent of the market, just as the old PS2 does now.
The predictions for the next generation consoles come from In-Stat research announced yesterday, and the estimates of the older machines' market share are from Gartner data released last November, just prior to the launch of the Xbox 360.
If they turn out to be accurate, the predictions are depressingly bad news for Microsoft. The company has spent hundreds of millions promoting and developing the Xbox series over the past five years. And, after the tremendous success of the first model, the software giant would surely hope to put more of a dent in the armour of the PlayStation 3. Microsoft looks to games sales, not console sales, to recoup its investment, but a smaller market share will tend to reduce the variety and total number of games sold.
These kind of market figures would be very good news for Nintendo, however. A relative midget alongside the Sony and Microsoft behemoths, Nintendo was written off for dead in most quarters after the GameCube missed the mainstream. And good news for Sony, of course, which has been severely embarrassed by the oft-delayed launch of the PS3. µ
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