As Microsoft prepares to give first details on its next-generation Xbox in a matter of hours, one market watcher has spoken out to say consoles as a product category face an uphill battle.
"The next wave crest isn't as high as the previous one," International Data Corp. research manager Lewis Ward told Reuters.
Ward estimated that a combined 250 million Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii units were sold between 2005 and 2012. Microsoft has confirmed that 77 million Xbox 360 units were sold, while Nintendo has revealed Wii sales of 99 million. That leaves around 74 million for the PS3.
"I do think that consoles as a product category have peaked and the next-gen devices won't match those totals," Ward added.
Nintendo's Wii U is the only next-generation console on the market thus far. It has struggled, selling 3.45 million units worldwide since its launch last year.
Sony has confirmed that the PlayStation 4 will launch this holiday season, the same window that Microsoft's next Xbox is believed to be on store shelves.
Microsoft has invited media to its Redmond, Washington, campus today where the company will formally announce its vision for the future of games and entertainment. GameSpot is on location at the event and will have details from the presentation as they become available.