The PlayStation 3 has now narrowly outsold the Xbox 360, with total global sales of 77 million to 76 million at the end of 2012, according to industry statistics.
According to a report released by the International Data Corporation,
“In December 2012, PS3 system shipments eclipsed the number of Xbox 360’s shipped worldwide, despite the PS3 launching a year later than the Xbox 360 (an estimated 77 million bundles versus approximately 76 million bundles shipped)”
The report also expressed scepticism about the prospects of a new generation of “smart” devices disrupting the console market any time soon:
“At the same time, it doesn’t appear that alternative platforms — set-top boxes from cable companies, Web-connected smart TVs, and so on — are positioned to materially disrupt the trajectory of the ‘big 3’ console OEMs in 2013 or 2014.
Discs will remain the console game revenue mainstay for years to come.”
Unsurprisingly, the imminent replacement of the essentially obsolete PS3 and Xbox 360 with new models is projected to lead to big increases in sales:
“2011 and 2012 were tough for many console game disc developers and publishers.
With the advent of eighth-generation consoles, starting with the Wii U, historical norms strongly imply that game disc revenue will stop bleeding in 2013 and rise substantively in 2014.”
With the Wii U already out, the future of the next generation of gaming hardware will apparently come down to a third showdown between Microsoft and Sony.