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Next-gen consoles may not sell as well as previous generation, says analyst

Piper Jaffray sees consoles taking back seat to social and mobile

A new report from analysts at Piper Jaffray says that Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft should expect to see reduced hardware sales with their next-gen consoles compared to the sales racked up by the PS3, Wii and Xbox 360. Additionally, the firm notes that new consoles should expect an average decline of 53 percent on software sales during the first 14 months at retail.

This trend is expected for all three of the consoles projected to come out, with the Wii U taking the hardest hit.

According to analysts Michael Olson and Andrew Connor, the Wii U is expected to sell at retail for $299 or higher, but will only see about 35 percent of the volume of sales that the Wii enjoyed. The pair sees the Orbis (PS4) gaining a bit more ground, getting about 50 percent of sales volume compared to the PS3. Microsoft is predicted to fare the best, with projections hitting 55 percent of sales volumes for the first 14 months when compared to sales figures for the Xbox 360.

After meeting with a few "industry sources," Piper Jaffray said it is believed that Sony will launch its next PlayStation around holiday 2013, and Microsoft should follow sometime in 2014.

Piper Jaffray points to the increasing presence of social and mobile games; there is strong sentiment that social gaming firms are going to take a big chunk out of the market, with companies such as Zynga and EA projected to fare quite well in the rapidly changing gaming landscape.

"Unfortunately, we do not expect a console refresh to fully offset the secular declines in console gaming," said the analysts. "We believe console gaming will continue to be a time-share donor to social networks, mobile games and tablets. We, therefore, favor companies with increasing exposure to social/mobile gaming, including Zynga and EA."

[via Gamasutra]

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Ben Strauss: Ben Strauss is a recent graduate of Xavier University. You can see him ramble on about gaming, gamification, military-related gaming and manly things on his Twitter @Sinner101GR.
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