Analysts disagree on outcome of US console wars

Friday, 1 April 2011 04:15 GMT By Brenna Hillier

A group of analysts have offered differing assessments of the PlayStation 3 versus Xbox 360 debate, with Wedbush Morgan’s notorious Michael Pachter predicting the Xbox 360 will win everything forever.

“The only way PS3 passes 360 is to be priced at a lower level, and I don’t see that happening,” Pachter told Industry Gamers.

“Microsoft appears determined to ‘win’, so I don’t see them allowing Sony to gain a pricing advantage, ever.”

Pachter also commented that Kinect has driven Xbox 360 sales, while Move is under performing, and that while the PS3 feature list is strong, it isn’t well communicated to consumers.

EEDAR’s Jesse Divnich agreed, stating that the gap between the two consoles continues to widen in Microsoft’s favour, but said he didn’t feel this necessarily made the Xbox 360 the “winner”.

“As someone who isn’t afraid to claim winners and losers in this industry, I must say the PlayStation 3 never gets enough credit for its accomplishments. I don’t foresee being third-place this generation as the ‘loser,'” he said.

Divnich said both consoles have extremely healthy install bases driving huge absolute profits with third party publishers, above and beyond other platforms, but that the PS3 had a greater percentage of active users.

Divid Cole of DFC Intelligence agreed, saying hardware revisions and failures meant Microsoft had shifted more hardware, but could be overtaken by Sony in terms of users.

“When we look at active units we see the PS3 passing the Xbox 360 in the U.S. in 2014,” he said.

“However, the Xbox 360 is forecasted to have sold more units at that time…actually a slightly wider gap than today.”

M2 Research’s Billy Pidgeon concurred.

“Speculatively, PS3 achieving a larger installed base in the U.S. is possible in two to three years, particularly in the event of Microsoft launching a next generation console in that time frame,” he said.

“Of course, increased PS3 penetration is also contingent on Sony’s continued release of quality first party system selling games.”