The claims are backed up by IDG figures which reveal that the last few years of industry expansion have been driven almost exclusively by Nintendo formats. Without Wii and DS hardware and software sales, the overall international market actually declined by seven per cent last year.
“The middling performance of the 360, coupled with the PS3’s slow start has led IDG to the conclusion that the core gamer market is in fact saturated,” states the report.
“This generation of consoles has sold on a par with the prior era. If you strip out the Wii installed base, the current cycle would have tracked lower than early stages of the prior cycle. Most of the industry growth in recent years has been driven by the DS and the Wii.
“On a combined hardware and software basis, the global market grew by 21 per cent with the DS and the Wii in 2007, but declined by seven per cent without the two Nintendo platforms,” adds the IDG report. “In short, the balance of power has significantly shifted towards Nintendo."