As you’ve no doubt seen by now, Sony’s Kaz Hirai and Microsoft’s Aaron Greenberg have been getting into a little war of words lately. Hirai still sees Sony as the industry leader in video games and he doesn’t think Xbox 360 has longevity, while Greenberg has called Sony “out of touch” and he doesn’t see a scenario in which Xbox 360 could lose its installed base lead to PS3.
Wedbush Morgan Securities analyst Michael Pachter – never afraid to share his opinion – contacted GameDaily BIZ to let us know that both Hirai and Greenberg are right. “Aaron Greenberg is right that Sony likely won’t catch Microsoft in the U.S. until at least 2014. Kaz is right that Sony will likely catch Microsoft globally,” said Pachter.
He then provided further analysis: “Please keep in mind that both consoles are offered in North America, Europe and Japan. Sony likely has a 4 million unit lead in Japan, is behind by 7 million in North America, and is behind in Europe by 2 million. My guess is that Sony can sell 2 million PS3s per year more than Microsoft in Japan for the next several years, and can catch up in Europe in two or three years. So by the end of 2011, Sony should be even in Europe, ahead by 10 million units in Japan, and behind by a greater margin than 7 million in North America. If the Xbox 360 outsells the PS3 by 1 million units per year for 2009, 2010 and 2011, the two consoles will be in a dead heat by the end of 2011.
“You should note that the 360 outsold the PS3 in the U.S. by 1.2 million units in 2008 (according to NPD), with an average price of $300 compared to an average for PS3 of $418. If PS3 comes down to $299 some time this year, it’s likely that the two consoles will sell around the same number of units, with a slight edge to Sony because of Blu-ray. If the 360 price is cut further, Microsoft can likely sustain its advantage, but it may have difficulty selling 1 million more per year.”
Pachter also joked, “Funny that nobody is talking about catching the Wii…” Of course, at this point the Wii is probably uncatchable and could very well end up becoming the best selling console ever.
- A Big Shot