Research group DFC Intelligence, has released a series of reports forecasting enormous overall growth in 2009 for the game industry and which also predicts PlayStation 3 overtaking the Xbox 360 in the console race.
Astonishingly DFC estimates the video game market will bolster to $47 billion USD by 2009, which is a 42% increase over the $33 billion the industry created in 2006.
The forecast represents video game hardware and software constituting of handhelds like PSP and DS (not mobile phones), PC games and online PC and console games.
According to the report the Xbox 360's future sales may falter. Whilst the company raised its forecast for the Wii and PlayStation 3, it lowered its forecast for Microsoft's console, predicting that the Wii will stay on top through 2008 and that the PS3's sales will move into overdrive in 2009.
"The Xbox 360 will need to build a strong base outside North America to avoid being in a fairly distant third," said DFC analyst David Cole. "We could have a situation where the Wii sells more hardware units, but by 2012 the PlayStation 3 is generating more software revenue."
DFC used three prediction models that estimates that combined cumulative worldwide sales for the three console systems will reach between 180 million to 210 million units by 2012. Last generation PS2 sold over 120 Million units alone.
However, the PC market, spurred on by the success of online games and digital distribution markets will also see growth from $4.5 billion USD in 2006 to $13 billion USD in 2012. Handheld systems and software are also strong performers and Cole predicts that "the Nintendo DS could eventually become the best selling game system ever in five years."