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Thursday, February 14, 2008

iSuppli: Wii To Lead Hardware Race In 2008, PS3 By 2011

A new report from analyst group iSuppli projects that the Wii will surpass the Xbox 360 in 2008 as the next-gen console with the largest global install base.

According to iSuppli, the Wii will reach 30.2 million installed units in 2008, up from 18 million in 2007, thereby placing it ahead of the 25.7 million users the firm projects for Xbox 360 in 2008, and the 20.3 million for the PlayStation 3.

However, iSuppli's projections show the PlayStation 3 ultimately having the largest worldwide install base in 2011, exceeding that of the other two next-gen consoles. According to the firm, the PS3 will see 38.4 million users in 2011, growing significantly from a total of 10.3 million in 2007.

Overall, iSuppli says the percentage of the installed base will distribute quite evenly by 2011. The firm says the PlayStation 3 in 2011 will account for 35.4 percent of the installed base (38.4 million), while the Wii will take 34.8 percent (37.7 million) and the Xbox 360 will be at 29.8 percent (32.3 million).

iSuppli additionally noted that the Activision-Vivendi merger might herald further consolidation in the industry going forward. The $18.9 billion deal, iSuppli says, has enabled a "new video game software superpower" to compete with Electronic Arts, and may result in a wave of consolidation as smaller companies aim to keep up with industry leaders.

iSuppli research analyst Pam Tufegdzic commented, “The Wii’s performance illustrates the success of Nintendo’s strategy of targeting casual users with an inexpensive console and entertaining titles, rather than addressing hard-core gamers by offering highly sophisticated and spectacular titles and systems. In this stage of the new-generation video game console market, consumers are showing they’d rather be entertained and pay less for their consoles than shell out more for the latest and greatest technology.”

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