Global sales of advanced 128-bit consoles reached 32.9 million units in 2002, according to the research. PS2 was the choice of nearly 70 percent of buyers, while the remainder was split evenly between GameCube and XBox. Total sales of all platforms in 2003 are predicted to reach 36.2 million units, but GameCube's sales are expected to fall by 4 percent in 2003, while XBox sales will rise by 12 percent. Key drivers of this trend are XBox's growing software library, its clearly defined online gaming strategy, and Microsoft's substantial investments in the platform. By contrast, the GameCube's online strategy is unclear, and its support from publishers appears to waning.
Strategy Analytics recommends that Nintendo abandon its traditional console-exclusive software publishing strategy and publishes its games across multiple platforms. The company stands to lose relatively little, while gaining access to an additional 77 million console owners during 2003.
"Nintendo is missing out on the current generation of games players," says David Mercer, VP of the Strategy Analytics Global Broadband Practice. "Culturally it will be difficult for the company to change course, but it must do so in order to secure its long-term position as a leading games publisher."
Global Advanced Games Console Installed Base Forecast Millions 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 North America 1.2 11.1 26.8 42.9 54.5 61.4 67.8 74.9 80.6 Europe 0.8 5.5 16.1 28.9 37.6 43.1 48.9 53.7 54.5 Japan 3.6 8.0 13.3 17.2 18.9 20.1 22.1 23.1 23.1 Total 5.7 24.6 56.3 89.0 111.0 124.7 138.9 151.7 158.1 Growth Rate 333% 129% 58% 25% 12% 11% 9% 4% Note: includes 128-bit and succeeding generation consoles Source: Strategy Analytics
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Strategy Analytics, Inc., a global research and consulting firm, provides timely insights and strategic business solutions to companies operating at the convergence of information, communications and entertainment technologies. With worldwide headquarters in Newton, MA and principal offices in England, France and Germany, Strategy Analytics focuses on market opportunities and challenges in the areas of Automotive Electronics, Broadband, Telematics, Wireless Strategies and Enabling Technologies. For more information, see www.strategyanalytics.com