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Screen Digest: Wii will rule Christmas

Media analyst publication Screen Digest is launching a new service aimed at the games industry, called Games Bulletin.

Media analyst publication Screen Digest is launching a new service aimed at the games industry, called Games Bulletin.

The report will feature data, demographics and trend-forecasting, with the first edition focusing on software publishing in the final quarter of 2007.

According to the report Nintendo's Wii platform will be the publishing community's most popular format in the last three months of this year, with 86 titles currently scheduled for release.

This compares to just 47 for the Xbox 360 and 38 for the PlayStation 3, and moves the Wii's lifetime title numbers much closer to those of the Xbox 360's leading figures.

The Games Bulletin analysis cites the lower cost of development for the platform as a key reason why the Wii is popular, and expects it to surpass the Xbox 360 in early 2008.

It also states that the Wii is likely to lead the 256-bit market for the rest of the year, with the Xbox 360 coming second, and the PlayStation 3 in last - due to Sony's release schedule lacking "the firepower to command consumer attention during this crucial trading quarter and it is difficult to see how the catalogue will drive hardware sales in such a competitive environment."

Additionally analyst Ed Barton believes that 2008 will see a greater take-up of the next-generation consoles, as they become the new standard.

"Given present publishing activity levels and hardware sales rates, we expect 256 bit gaming to have moved out of transition and squarely into the mass adoption phase by year end."

"While Wii and Xbox 360 are likely to look back on 2007 with some satisfaction, the same cannot be said for PS3. Given the platformâs release schedule this Christmas, it is not a surprise that Sony is focusing on lowering the cost of entry to PS3 platform to maintain parity with its rivals this Christmas."

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Phil Elliott

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