August 19th, 2006, 11:38 Posted By: wraggster
This week, yet another game-industry analyst issued yet another report predicting yet another winner in the next-gen console race. However, unlike a July note which warned that Sony's "techno-elite" strategy could be its downfall, this week's report from the Yankee Group forecast the PlayStation 3 as emerging victorious from the fracas to succeed the current crop of game platforms.
"By the time third-generation consoles reach market maturity in 2011, the PlayStation 3 will once again be the market leader," said Yankee Group in its report. The Boston-based industry-research firm went on to predict that over the next five years, Sony would sell 30 million PS3s in North America, attaining a 44 percent market share.
However, with the PlayStation 2, Sony currently enjoys around a 60 percent market share. The Yankee Group's prediction had Microsoft selling 27 million Xbox 360s to increase its slice of the gaming pie to 40 percent--meaning Sony would cede roughly 16 percent of its North American customers to its archrival. (The report has Nintendo retaining its current approximate 16 percent market share, selling just 11 million Wiis over five years.)
The Yankee Group report generated a surge of interest and sparked numerous verbal skirmishes between console enthusiasts. But how did Sony feel about it? Was the company happy to receive a reprieve from the ongoing consumer backlash about the PS3's dual $499 and $599 pricing? Or was it concerned about the fundamental market shift the report augured?
Kaz talks PS3 production.
To get some answers, GameSpot spoke with Sony Computer Entertainment American president Kaz Hirai about the Yankee Group report and his company's ongoing preparations for the PS3's November launches in Japan, North America, and Europe. The executive also addressed the controversy surrounding Sony's first handheld, the PSP: Will there be a price drop? Will there be a redesign? And is the PSP's UMD format going the way of Betamax and MiniDisc? And what about those rumors fingering Sony as one of the architects of the drastic downsizing of the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3)? GameSpot put those questions--and others--to Hirai earlier this week.
Full Interview Here
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