This week, market research and analyst firm DFC Intelligence released its latest report, titled "DFC Intelligence Forecasts Video Game Market to Reach $47 Billion by 2009." As the title suggests, the San Diego-based research firm thinks the worldwide game industry's worth will increase by $14 billion in the next two years from its estimated $33 billion 2007 worth.
In addition to its pan-platform market predictions, DFC also handicapped the three-way race between the most recent crop of consoles. It predicts that sales of all three systems--the PlayStation 3, Wii, and Xbox 360--will total between 180 and 210 million units by 2012. In the shorter term, DFC believes the Wii will continue its winning streak until at least the end of 2008, at which point the PS3 could start taking over.
"We could have a situation where the Wii sells more hardware units, but by 2012 the PlayStation 3 is generating more software revenue," said DFC analyst David Cole.
Cole also believes that although the battle is far from over, the Xbox 360 will likely be relegated to third place when the dust finally settles. He says Microsoft's dependence on the US and Canadian markets are hampering its efforts to make the console a worldwide phenomenon. "The Xbox 360 will need to build a strong base outside North America to avoid being in a fairly distant third," forecast Cole.
DFC analysts also looked at the portable market, predicting that handhelds generally and the DS in particular will continue to see strong growth. "Revenue from portable game software has more than doubled in recent years," said Cole. "We think that the Nintendo DS could eventually become the best-selling game system ever in five years."
The company also augured that the worldwide PC gaming market will be worth more than $13 billion by the year 2012.