Yankee Group today revealed that despite intense competition from Microsoft and Nintendo, the Sony PlayStation 3 will lead sales in North America - though by a narrow margin. As a result of video game consoles’ emergence as platforms for digital distribution, Microsoft and Sony are engaged in a bruising battle for market dominance. Microsoft is off to a fast start, launching the Xbox 360 nearly 12 months before the PlayStation 3. However, by the time third-generation consoles reach market maturity in 2011, the PlayStation 3 will once again be the market leader.
According to the Yankee Group DecisionNoteSM, Can Sony Hold Off Microsoft as Video Game Consoles Emerge as a Platform for Digital Distribution?, published today, by 2011 the PlayStation 3 will have sold about 30 million units and account for 44% of cumulative third-generation console sales in North America. Comparatively, Microsoft will have sold nearly 27 million units by 2011, accounting for 40% of the market and Nintendo will have sold just over 11 million units, accounting for 16% of the market.
"With a growing installed base of connected consoles, content owners are beginning to recognize the potential video game consoles offer as a distribution channel," said Michael Goodman, Yankee Group Media & Entertainment Strategies Senior Analyst. "Additionally, these platforms will serve as a strong medium for advertising, validating the growing market for in-game and around game advertising."
Additional findings in this Yankee Group DecisionNote include:
- Overall, fewer consoles will be sold this generation. Yankee Group anticipates that as a result of higher console prices, overall unit sales will lag the previous generation of consoles (i.e., PS2, Xbox and GameCube).
- Microsoft will put significant price pressure on Sony during the PS3’s lifecycle. In addition to starting at a lower price than the PS3, Microsoft is well positioned to make a large price cut in the spring of 2007 and each year thereafter—putting significant price pressure on Sony.