(EA), which says that gamers in Europe will snap up a huge number of PS3s in the coming year.
EA says that while Microsoft will probably sell 2.5 million Xbox 360s in 2008, Sony will manage to flog a rather impressive 6 million PlayStation 3 units. That’s a sizeable increase, but EA does add that the US market will be a much more even contest.
It says that around 11 million Sony and Microsoft consoles will be snapped up by US gamers this year, with both companies having a roughly equal share. Just like Sony has a loyal fanbase in Japan, US company Microsoft traditionally enjoys a good following in its homeland.
That’s why the new trend towards the PS3 will supposedly not affect the US market as much as in Europe.
PS3 vs Xbox vs Wii
It’s no surprise, of course, that EA reckons the Nintendo Wii will continue to thrash both the PS3 and the Xbox 360 in all territories. It says that Nintendo will flog 7.5 million Wiis in Europe this year, with similar dominance expected in Japan and the US.
The main problem for the PS3 at the moment is its retail price. The 40GB is available for around £290 online, which is £10 pricier than the Xbox 360 Elite, which has a 120GB hard drive. The cheapest Xbox model – the Arcade – is £100 cheaper than the PS3, clearly giving Microsoft a bit of an edge.
The trump card could be that Sony has recently halved the production costs of the PS3, and thus there will be a lot of scope for further PlayStation 3 price cuts. There are rumours that the cheaper, smaller components will lead Sony to releasing a slimmed down, cheaper version of the PS3. And with Blu-ray having all but won the HD disc war, the prospect of owning a PlayStation 3 has become a lot more attractive.
A £199 PS3 console may be on the cards in 2008, and that would cerainly be a temptation for many gamers and for home cinema buffs looking for a cheap and future-proofed Blu-ray player.