REMEMBER WHEN NINTENDO was on the ropes, with the failure of the Wii U causing many to call time on the Japanese games company? Well, the same Nintendo is set to overtake Microsoft and its Xbox One in 2018.
Analysts at IHS Market, who understand, er, markets, spending and other such things that involve graphs, noted that the stellar growth of the Nintendo Switch and strong sales of the SNES Classic Mini and the 3DS mean spending on Nintendo products and services could soar beyond $11bn this year.
"Nintendo has successfully turned around its console business with the launch of the Switch," IHS remarked. "The hybrid nature of Nintendo's Switch has allowed it to flex to the buying needs of consumers in different regions, thus making it a globally attractive and relevant product."
In comparison, Microsoft is seeing a slowdown in sales of its Xbox One hardware and services, and IHS expects the firm to see revenue drop from $10bn in 2017 to $9bn this year. This will no doubt come as a blow to Microsoft, who likely expects its powerful Xbox One X to help it shift more consoles in 2018.
Sony's PlayStation 4 (PS4) still rules the roost, though, and cranked out revenue for the company to the tune of $20bn last year. It's set to drop a little below that mark this year, but it'll still be the console king for the foreseeable future.
Thanks to the Nintendo Switch being a little more than a year old there's still a lot of interest in the hybrid console, and it's still selling like hotcakes around the world. And that's in its current state, which has yet to see Nintendo equip it with Virtual Console and fully-fledged online services.
Using our own highly unscientific methods and prediction models, we reckon that as Nintendo builds out its Switch features, it'll continue to rake in cash from hardware, software and service sales.
Sales of the Switch are also helping keep the overall games console market growing. It's predicted to rise by four per cent in 2018, despite predicted small declines in sales of the Xbox One and PS4.
With the price of premium PC components relatively high, especially graphics cards which have seen price hikes due to their ability to effectively mine cryptocurrency, it would seem game fans are still likely to opt for a console rather than a gaming PC, despite the improved performance and game library the latter can offer.
We're still hoping that another console maker will enter the fray to mix things up; maybe Sega will find its mojo again and make a return to the hardware world. µ
Another week of weird and wonderful Google news
Rumours claim event could see the launch of new iPads and MacBooks
There will now be just five bidders, Ofcom confirms
Why I just don't think we're ready for alternative realities at home