Xbox Rising

So the ad campaigns have been launched, the lines have been formed, and the products (most of them, anyway) have been shipped. With holiday shopping in full roar, there’s little Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft can do now to help the prospects of their next gen consoles, but wait for the market’s verdict. Here at GigaOM, we’ll be doing the same, waiting to see which console gamers spend their often capricious dollars on.

That said, the number of the week is 10 million. That’s the number Microsoft is sticking with; on second thought, make that 10 million plus change. Based on current market demand, that’s how many Xbox 360s that Peter Moore, the company’s gaming ubermensche, claims they’ll sell by the end of this year, worldwide. Next Generation also reports that Sony expects to have 2 million Playstation 3s on the market, and Nintendo, 4 million Wiis.

For those scoring at home, this means (assuming all of those units ship and sell), the world’s next gen market will break down like this at the end of the year:

Xbox 360: 62.5%,
Wii: 25%,
PS3: 12.5%

Previously I had predicted that Xbox and Wii would split the market evenly, with PS3 far behind, but looking at the numbers that way, I have to say, only the last part appears on target.

Microsoft’s lead seems unbeatable now, fueled by a one year head start, the raging success of Gears of War as 2006’s killer app (it’s already become Xbox Live’s most popular multiplayer game), and most recently, a blitzkrieg of promotion for Halo 3, scheduled for 2007. (The game’s ultracool teaser ad is now causing collective squeals of geek delight.)