Last year, analysts firm DFC Intelligence predicted that sales from software would hit $26 billion by 2008. Today, the firm is throwing all things gaming--software, hardware, online revenue--into its latest forecast that looks at the business even further down the line. DFC prognosticates that the gaming industry will be worth $44 billion by 2011, up from an estimated $29 million last year.
The majority of the dough is obviously set to come from Sony's PlayStation 3, Microsoft's Xbox 360, and Nintendo's Wii, but DFC analyst David Cole still thinks the next-gen crown is up for grabs.
"Uncertainty is truly the keyword going forward," said Cole. "Three solid video game systems are competing for market share and it will probably be two to three years before a true leader is determined."
Cole believes that software sales from the three platforms will account for about a third of worldwide sales in the industry, with no platform singled out as a clear leader like the PlayStation 2 was in the current-gen war. He also believes that the competition between the three competing consoles, a burgeoning portable sector, and the rising popularity of online games "is the key to success" for the industry.