2010 has only just begun, but analysts are already starting to express their opinions on the near future of the gaming industry. Doom and gloom was the order of the day for Sony and the PlayStation 3 before the Slim’s announcement and its adjoining price cut.
A resurgence in 2009 saw Sony close in on Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and the console even acted as a challenge to the Wii in Japan. Analysts don’t believe that this is going to stop any time soon.
Lazard Capital Markets analyst Colin Sebastian believes that the Wii’s recent holiday burst won’t last, with the PS3 set to continue in its improvements. Sebastian writes, as reported by Industry Gamers:
One key takeaway from the holiday period is that there is ample demand for console hardware at reduced price points. Not only did Nintendo’s Wii benefit from a reacceleration in unit sales at lower price points ($149 in many stores), but PS3 sell-through is improving and the Xbox 360 is maintaining momentum. While not surprising that the Wii disproportionately sold more units in 4Q, as it remains a popular gift item, the recently reported 3+ million units sold in December exceeded our expectations. However, we remain cautious in modeling follow-on Wii sales in 2010.
For the year, we are currently modeling a 10% increase in PS3 unit sales, Xbox 360 unit sales down 5%, and a 20% decline in Nintendo Wii unit sales. There is upside potential to our estimates with further hardware price reductions. At this point, we expect the console-installed base to increase by roughly 25% to 70 million units, and above the 57 million console units installed of the last generation platforms at the end of 2005.
What’s going to prompt this increase from the PS3? Actually, nothing other than the Slim and its price cut. Sony simply needs to continue its momentum to perform a one-up over its poor early-2009 sales results. Of course, there’s also God of War III, Gran Turismo 5, Heavy Rain, Final Fantasy XIII…