Market research firm IDC has predicted that while none of the three new consoles introduced by Nintendo, Sony, or Microsoft will dominate the market in the next five years, the Wii will outship and outsell the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in 2007 and 2008.
The firm notes that while Microsoft has enjoyed a year long head start over the competition with its Xbox 360, both it and Sony's PlayStation 3 continue to vie for the same hardcore/enthusiast audience.
Because of this, IDC comments that Nintendo will capture “a little more than a third of the worldwide market by 2008, rising slightly above Sony's PS3 and Microsoft's Xbox 360” due to Nintendo's efforts to broadened its target audience beyond the traditional market.
IDC's predictions are the latest from analysts making similar predictions regarding Nintendo's strategy with the Wii. Online traffic analysis group Compete recently reported
that the Wii, despite being "the clear underdog with its relatively modest specs," has continued to draw considerable post-holiday consumer interest. Investment firm Merrill Lynch also recently predicted
that over a quarter of all U.S. households will own a Wii by 2011.
"With the Wii, Nintendo is abdicating the specification war, leaving Sony and Microsoft to slug it out between themselves for the hardcore market," commented Billy Pidgeon, program manager of IDC's Consumer Markets: Gaming program.
Added Pidgeon: "We believe concerted efforts to broaden the appeal of videogames beyond the traditional enthusiast/hardcore base will deepen the industry's penetration. This is good news for an industry that seemed to be receding last year due to over-saturation of the core base."