Key takeaways from the new forecast include:
- 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)
- Nintendo's Wii U will find an audience; global bundle shipments will exceed 50 million by year-end 2016 - The volume of packaged game discs shipped will decline an average of roughly 3% per year through 2016, as console spending shifts into digital channels
Demand for Microsoft's and Sony's next- or eighth-generation consoles is also forecast, based on a set of clearly defined assumptions. As such, and mainly due to the effects of digital distribution, eighth-generation console tie ratios will be approximately 25% lower than the tie ratios of seventh- or current-generation consoles.
"2011 and 2012 were tough for many console game disc developers and publishers," added Ward. "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."