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Japanese Analysts Predict Console Launch Dates

Japanese analysts quoted in Famitsu magazine, as translated by consumer website GameSpot, have made a number of predictions concerning the release of the Revolution and P...
Japanese analysts quoted in Famitsu magazine, as translated by consumer website GameSpot, have made a number of predictions concerning the release of the Revolution and PlayStation 3 and the likely shape of the next generation console market. Daiwa Institute of Research senior analyst Eiji Maeda ha suggested a launch in Japan for the PlayStation 3 of between April and June, albeit with a very limited number of software titles. Credit Suisse First Boston analyst Jay Defibaugh, working at the company’s Tokyo branch, suggests a date of between May and June. Although reports have varied considerably on the subject, the analysts describe the PlayStation 3 as difficult to develop for, with 71 different developers currently working on 102 different games, although only two of these are current scheduled for a spring release (Koei’s Fatal Inertia and Mahjong Taikai). Maeda suggests that the PlayStation 3 is likely to retain its dominance in the global market, but that the lack of available software may limit its success in 2006. Maeda suggests that the new console’s price is likely to be in the ¥40,000 ($343) region at the lowest. He did not apparently give any upper limit to the possible price, but did predict that the retail price for the Xbox 360 would drop at the same time in Japan. Regarding the Revolution, Maeda suggests a price point of around ¥30,000 ($257) and a June launch in Japan with a larger line-up of software than the PlayStation 3. IT journalist Hiroshige Gotoh also added additional commentary in the magazine feature, suggesting that the console should still be able to compete aggressively with more powerful consoles, due to the unique nature of its controller. Both analysts were in agreement that on a worldwide scale the PlayStation 3 was likely to account for half of the total next generation home console market by the end of 2006, with the Xbox 360 at 30 percent and the Revolution at 20 percent. Predictions for the market share of each console beyond this year were not given.

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