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Four, not three, "horses" in holiday console race

Commenting on this season's "console wars," Crave Entertainment COO Rob Dyer thinks it is great that there are multiple consoles on the market

Commenting on this season's "console wars," Crave Entertainment COO Rob Dyer thinks it is great that there are multiple consoles on the market.

"In fact, we see it more of a four consoles, two handhelds market," Dyer said, including the PlayStation 2 in the software sales battle.

"Christmas will be very strong and we see PS2, Wii and the handhelds leading the way for us," he told GamesIndustry.biz.

Recent software sales support his observation. In August, the PS2 version of Madden 08 was the second highest selling game in the US, with Guitar Hero II and Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s for PS2 also making the charts.

The PlayStation 2 version of FIFA 08 is atop the charts in both Germany and Spain, outselling versions for the current generation of consoles.

With Wedbush Morgan Securities analyst Michael Pachter forecasting September PS2 software sales in the US at USD 101 million, this puts the seven year-old console only slightly behind the forecast September sales for current generation software.

Responding to rumours of a lower-priced PS3 appearing in the US, Dyer said that the price of development, not the retail price of the console, is the gating issue for smaller publishers.

"Until there is an affordable and predictable middleware solution for the PS3, it will be tough for smaller publishers to get games into market for the next year or two," Dyer said.

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