IDC, a global provider of market intelligence headquartered in Framingham, has issued a report on the videogame market following the releases of the Microsoft Xbox 360, Sony PlayStation 3, and Nintendo's Wii.
Who will win? the report asks. Maybe all three.
According to an IDC study titled "Worldwide Videogame Console Hardware and Software Forecast 2006-2011," none of the three consoles will dominate the market in the next five years the way PlayStation2, or PS2, dominated the last cycle.
Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox 360 was the best selling current generation console for 2006 because it enjoyed a full year lead in the market over the debut of PS3 and Wii, said IDC, which expects Wii to outship and outsell the 360 and PS3 in 2007 and 2008.
With the Wii, Nintendo seeks to court a much broader audience than just hard-core gamers, and Wii's $250 price tag is easier on the wallet than Xbox ($300-$400) and PS3 ($500-$600).
"With the Wii, Nintendo is abdicating the specification war, leaving Sony and Microsoft to slug it out between themselves for the hardcore market," Billy Pidgeon, program manager of IDC's consumer markets, gaming program, said in a statement. "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."
(By Chris Reidy, Globe staff)