This not meant to be inflammatory. I am going to go about this logically, region by region. I enjoy games on all three systems, my favorites right now are Sonic, Resistance and Lost Planet. With that said: Japanese Issues: - The Nintendo DS is currently the best place to be for third party developers. Square Enix now has multiple games to sell over a million units on the platform. Bandai and even Sega have made a million seller in Japan on the DS. Smaller games like Layton also benefit from the rapidly expanding he audience the DS appeals to. When developers want to make more powerful games, they have essentially 4 options if they want the game to sell well. PS2, Wii, PSP, PS3. Through early 2007, PS2 was easily the safest bet. Right now, PSP and Wii have userbases in the millions in Japan, but software by 3rd parties have generally (with exceptions like Capcom) not sold well yet on either platform. With the PS2 slowly dying in Japan, and the PS3 userbase under 1 million, the overwhelming support will be on the DS (see DQIX). However, because Wii is more powerful than PS2, cheaper than PS3, and works under the same business model as the Nintendo DS, I think developers will eventually switch to it. Once Wii reaches 4 or 5 million units sold in Japan, I suspect alot of big 3rd party games to be announced/released. When PS3 price drops further in Japan, it will have huge spikes as big games come out. But I think by this point, Nintendo will be too far ahead, because DS stole traditional Sony support early, and Wii stole it later. I can see PS3 selling 5-8 million units in Japan, but even at just 200,000 a month Wii will be near 4 million in Japan by Dec 31. American Issues: - Although the PS3 is very expensive, I do not think that is what is holding it back. I also don't think it is the games that will proppel it or retard it to new levels of slow/fast sales. PS2 was essentially perfect in the US market. It had one or two games hardcore games wanted in 2000, and it had DVD capacity. Sega was easily squashed by the hype, and Microsoft was nowhere near entering the market. This essentially left PS1 and the Nintendo 64 as competition. Because PS1 games could be played on PS2, many saw no problem in upgrading quickly - especially since it meant getting access to a DVD player and next-gen games. Really then, PS2 only competed against a dying console for its first 13 months. By the time Xbox and GC were released, Sony had assembled MGS, GTA, FF, and others for the holidays. In 2006, that position went to Microsoft. However, since they just had Gears of War to drive sales, they didn't quite dismantle the possibility of someone catching up to them, eventually. With PS3, Sony is seen as having fewer/inferior games for casuals (to Wii and PS2), and as having less online capability and fewer hardcore games than the 360. That is a problem. Normally, as the former market leader, they would be given the benefit of the doubt by many. But that is where price comes in. At $600 and doubt, the PS2 market will largely split in three, to those who want sports/racing, those who want sandbox style games, those who want the most hardcore games. With Nintendo keeping it's loyalists, with Microsoft keeping its online/shooting market, I see the sandbox guys going between Sony/Microsoft, the casuals going to Wii, and the hardcore going to Microsoft. Because HD penetration is low in the market Nintendo is expanding to, and since Microsoft's games are comparable graphically to PS3 offerings, I can see the market growing, even as it shifts away from Sony. Still, with the American market so huge, I do see all three consoles selling over 20 million, I see this mainly because a generation of hardcore games have now grown up playing PS1 games instead of Nintendo games, Microsoft will likely be in this position in 5 years. Europe/Pal/Others Issues: According to this website, 360 had sold 2.3 million through Dec 31, 2006. Sony will be launching in March. Nintendo launched in December and sold .8 million through Dec 31, 2006 (three weeks). By the time Sony launches Microsoft will be at or very near 3 million, while Ninendo will be in the 1.25-1.75 million range (I'm using their claims of meeting the March 31 target of 6 million for the estimation). Sony will sell out at launch week,probably around 750,000 units sold. I suspect they will have great weekly sales through the second week of April at least as the hardcore get their systems. But, with Europe being poorer than the USA and Canada on average, and the fact that fewer hardcore gamers exist, I expect Wii to be outselling PS3 by May. I also think 360 can meet PS3 sales for most of the year. With greater casual appeal, I can see Sony passing the 360 eventually. But on April 1, I expect it to look like this: PS3 .75 million - 14.3% Wii 1.5 million - 28.6% 360 3 million - 57.1% 100 = 4x (360) + 2x (Wii) + X (PS3) With Wii eating up casuals, and PS3 competing for the hardcore, I do think PS3 can inch up to 20% by the end of the year. But I can't see 360 ever dropping below like 35% because of the lead time, the price point, and sales in the U.K. Eventually I think 360 will find support from European developers because of its success in the Western market. Wii will have locked in most Japanese support by 2008. With (my guess) around 55 million consoles to be sold in Europe this generation, I think Wii and 360 can reach 20-25 million each. With the price, late launch, and established competition in all markets, I don't see PS3 getting above 10-15 million units. On a worldwide basis I see it like: Japan Wii-PS3-360 Americas 360-Wii-PS3 Europe/others Wii-360-PS3 Wii: Americas (24 million), Japan (20 million), Europe (23 million) 67 million 1.16 mill/60 months 360: Americas (26 million), Japan (1 million), Europe (21 million) 48 million 666,666/72 months PS3: Americas (20 million), Japan (7 million), Europe (13 million) 40 million 666,666/60 months I believe Sony will also kill PS3 early to make sure they can fight back Microsoft.
People are difficult to govern because they have too much knowledge.
When there are more laws, there are more criminals.
- Lao Tzu