Analysts predict tight sales race between PS3 and Xbox 360

The PS3 could catch or even overtake the global install base of the Xbox 360 in 2011, analysts have predicted.

While Microsoft’s machine remains the firm favourite of the pair in key territories such as the US, it’s a different story in other parts of the world. And it could be enough to swing the battle in Sony’ favour.

The Xbox 360 does have a five per cent lead over the PS3 worldwide, a minimal difference,” EEDAR’s Jesse Divnich told IndustryGamers.

The race is neck and neck. Additionally, if one looks at the total amount of sales through the first six months of 2011, the PS3 has sold about ten per cent more than the Xbox 360, worldwide, so the PS3 is definitely gaining ground.

The PS3 is still incredibly successful and outselling its rivals overseas. In terms of the PS3’s performance in North America, it is selling quite well and outperforming last year’s sales. The problem is the Xbox 360, which has increased its velocity without the aid of any price cuts or redesigns over the last year.

The Xbox 360’s success is simply incredible. I won’t lie, it has consistently beaten my models over the last few months – the folks at Microsoft remind me every month. The only reasoning that seems plausible is the Kinect or the strength of its software library has reached some sort of tipping point making the Xbox 360 an incredible value to consumers at its current price points.”

M2 Research’s Billy Pidgeon also admits to being surprised by the Xbox 360’s endurance in the US, but does have a surprising prediction should Microsoft choose to unveil its Xbox 360 successor in the coming weeks.

I still think PS3 has potential to ramp up hardware sales performancebased on a stronger first party software library and more affordablehardware, but PS3 got off to a very slow start due to high price andfewer first party software hits than the competition,” he said.

Should Microsoft release a successor to Xbox 360 and shift thepipeline for hardcore games over to the new consoles, that would be apossible scenario by which PS3 could bypass Xbox 360’s activeinstalled base. This scenario would give PS3 the opportunity to soakup the hardcore sector.”

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