The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), organizers of the annual Consumer Electronics Show, have announced via the organization's semi-annual 'U.S. Consumer Electronics Sales and Forecasts Report' a prediction of total gaming shipments, including both hardware and software, to reach $12.5 billion in 2006.
The organization noted that it sees this growth as being fueled by the maturation of the Xbox 360, as well as the fourth quarter hardware releases of the PlayStation 3 and Wii. In addition, the CEA also expects that this growth will continue through 2007, during which it anticipates total sales to top those in 2006 by 16 percent.
The report also commented on the newly introduced HD-DVD and Blu-ray technologies, both of which feature prominently in the battle for market share between both Sony and Microsoft. The CEA noted that, despite initial product delays, it expects that shipments of standalone home versions of both HD-DVD and Blu-ray disc players should reach more than one million units in 2007.
Additionally relating this to the game market, the PlayStation 3 will feature Blu-ray playback functionality out of the box when it arrives at retail in November, increasing the installed base of Blu-ray compatible devices further, while Microsoft has confirmed
that it expects to have its external HD-DVD player for the Xbox 360 on store shelves this holiday season.
"The fourth quarter of this year is when things really heat up in the gaming market, with continued growth expected through 2007, reaching $15 billion," commented CEA Director of Industry Analysis Sean Wargo.