Last week's announcement that Sony will delay the introduction of its PlayStation 3 was seen by many as a chance for Microsoft to consolidate its early lead in the next-generation console market. However, the delay is unlikely to hurt Sony in the long run, according to analyst firm In-Stat.
"Sony will continue its domination of the video game console market up to 2010," In-Stat said.
The PlayStation 3 will account for slightly more than half of all next-generation console sales between now and 2010, extending Sony's domination of the market, In-Stat said. Microsoft will take 28.6 percent, while Nintendo's Revolution console will have a market share of 21.2 percent, the analyst said.
While the relatively early launch of the Xbox 360 will not threaten sales of the PlayStation 3, Microsoft's head start will give it an edge over Nintendo, In-Stat said. Other factors that will boost Xbox 360 over the Revolution are its strong market position in North America and its appeal to older gamers, it said.
Of the years between now and 2010, this one is expected to be the slowest for console sales, In-Stat said. Sales in 2006 are expected to be around 25 million units. This figure will rise to about 39 million next year and hit 42 million the year after, the analyst predicted.