DFC Intelligence has released a series of reports forecasting that the worldwide videogame industry will grow to as much as USD 47 billion by 2009.
Currently, the worldwide videogame and interactive entertainment industry stands at about USD 33 billion.
DFC analysts expect much of the growth to come from online game revenue, including subscriptions, advertising, and digital distribution. The portable game market will also continue its strong performance.
âRevenue from portable game software has more than doubled in recent years and we think that the Nintendo DS could eventually become the best selling game system ever in five years,â says DFC analyst David Cole.
DFC used three different scenarios to forecast the performance of the console systems, estimating that combined cumulative worldwide sales for the three systems will reach between 180 to 210 million units by 2012.
As far as the individual console performances are concerned, looking at the "best case" scenario for each, DFC has raised its forecast for the Wii and the PlayStation 3 and lowered its forecast for the Xbox 360 in all three scenarios.
The company expects the Wii to remain the strongest system through at least 2008, but thinks that the PlayStation 3 could start coming on strong in 2009. âWe could have a situation where the Wii sells more hardware units, but by 2012 the PlayStation 3 is generating more software revenue,â says Cole.
As for the Xbox 360, Cole says "it will need to build a strong base outside North America to avoid being in a fairly distant third."