It’s been the stuff fanboys have been saying for years now, but it seems many professional analysts are starting the share the idea. Lazard Capital Markets’ Colin Sebastian forecasts a 20% decline in Wii sales (despite our previously reported comments from Nintendo president Satoru Iwata,) and a 5% decrease in the Xbox 360’s capital. The Playstation 3, on the other hand, is predicted to have a 10% uptick over the calendar year.
“One key takeaway from the holiday period is that there is ample demand for console hardware at reduced price points. Not only did Nintendo’s Wii benefit from a reacceleration in unit sales at lower price points ($149 in many stores), but PS3 sell-through is improving and the Xbox 360 is maintaining momentum. While not surprising that the Wii disproportionately sold more units in 4Q, as it remains a popular gift item, the recently reported 3 million units sales in December exceeded our expectations. However, we remain cautious in modeling follow-on Wii sales in 2010,” he said.
“For the year, we are currently modeling a 10% increase in PS3 unit sales, Xbox 360 unit sales down 5%, and a 20% decline in Nintendo Wii unit sales. There is upside potential to our estimates with further hardware price reductions. At this point, we expect the console-installed base to increase by roughly 25% to 70 million units, and above the 57 million console units installed of the last generation platforms at the end of 2005.”