Best Case: PS3 takes 50%
[Update 22jun05: more analysis from tom’s hardware guide]
Marketshare. Marketshare is everything. Without it, nobody cares. With it, everyone does. This is especially true in the arena of gaming consoles. Sony’s PS2 is the current title-holder, with about 70% of the global market. The Xbox and GameCube split the scraps. This is the reason why the PS2 attracts so many game developers. The more consoles get sold, the more software gets bought, the more software gets developed, the more consoles get sold, etc.
DFC Intelligence is into market research. And they’ve been looking at the next-gen console space and they predict that the very best the PS3 will be able to do is 50% of the market. They also say the Xbox 360 will be able to get no more than 40%, and the Revolution 35%. No, those numbers don’t add up to 100%. These are the best-case numbers for each console. So if the PS3 gets 50%, then obviously this isn’t the best case for the Xbox 360. The Xbox 360 and Revolution would have to split the remaining 50%.
At first you may think “Hey, you know, fifty percent isn’t that bad. Could do worse.” Well, that’s kinda the point. It can only do worse. According to DFC Intelligence, fifty percent is the very best the PS3 can hope for. And if fifty percent is the very best the PS3 can hope for, that’s pretty sad. And actually, the forty percent figure for the Xbox 360 is pretty sad too. That’s the very best it could possibly do? Hmmm. Doesn’t seem quite right to me. If Sony executes really well, I believe that they can get better than 50%. Also, if Microsoft executes really well, and Sony stumbles a bit, I think that the Xbox 360 could probably do better than 40%.
So I gotta take these numbers with a little bit of skepticism. Looking into the future is a pasttime best left for weather forecasters. I have a feeling that DFC will be wrong one way or another. Either Sony will do better than fifty percent, or Microsoft will do better than forty. Bets, anyone?