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Battle of the Next-Generation Game Consoles

Sony has launched its PlayStation 3 games system in the U.S., but Microsoft's Xbox 360 is facing even greater pressure to produce a strong holiday season, according to the latest research report from Strategy Analytics.

To meet its target, the Redmond, WA, giant must sell four million consoles over the gift-buying season, notes the report, "PS3/Xbox360: Pressure On Microsoft As Well As Sony In Q4 Console Shootout," published by Strategy Analytics.

"Sony will sell everything it can make of its new system," notes David Mercer, Principal Analyst. "But Microsoft has already had a year in the market to cream off early adopters, so the next few weeks will demonstrate how much pent-up demand there really is for the Xbox 360, and how many disappointed PS3 buyers are willing to switch camps."

The report predicts global sales of nearly 9 million next-generation games consoles during the last quarter of 2006. The Xbox 360 will remain the leading system through most of 2007 but the PS3 will be catching up by the end of the year and is still set to become the dominant platform of the next generation.

The report also predicts that more than 120 million PS3s will be sold through 2012, compared to 60 million Xbox 360s and 23 million Nintendo Wiis. North America will account for more than 50 percent of all console sales over this period.

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