With high spending on expensive hardware and a slumping economy, there was some concern that consumers would not have enough money to buy software products. This does not appear to be the case. "Consumer spending on software is at record levels and the game business seems to actually benefit from a recession because games are a relatively cheap form of home entertainment," said DFC analyst David Cole.
The report forecasts sales for each of the major game platforms. The Nintendo Wii is expected to be the number one selling console system of this generation. "The Wii does not appear to be a fad and it has the chance to be one of the best selling systems of all-time," says Cole. However, that does not mean the other systems will not do well. The Sony PlayStation 3 is expected to equal the Wii in annual software sales by 2012. Meanwhile, the Microsoft Xbox 360 remains a leading player in some of the top markets, most notably the U.S. and U.K.
Another new DFC report, Video Game Genre Forecasting, takes a look at expected sales by platform and genre for the next two years using multiple assumptions about product features, licenses, development and marketing budgets and consumer usage trends. "With multiple platforms establishing healthy installed bases there is a growing need to look at potential sales on a given platform based on not just aggregate hardware sales, but also game type," says analyst Jeremy Miller. "The Wii not only has unique features and a broad demographic appeal, but Nintendo is dominant as a software publisher. For many third party publishers this means they will have much greater success on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, even if Wii sales continue to be strong."
With all the talk about game console systems, surprisingly the number one platform for games in 2007 was the personal computer. According to the new Online Game Market Forecasts report, PC online game revenue alone passed $7 billion in 2007, not including retail sales. Total PC game revenue is expected to reach $19 billion by 2013.