Sony to make a gaming comeback?

by Paul Jay, CBCNews.ca

Electronic Arts released a report yesterday including its predictions for 2008, and - surprise, surprise - the company seems to think Sony's Playstation 3 console will outsell the XBox 360 in North America and Europe.

The report - link courtesy of Digital Journal - estimates Sony will ship between 9.5 and 11.5 million PS3s in 2008, compared to six to eight million Xbox 360s during the same time frame.

Now, the same report expects the Wii to be top dog in 2008, selling between 12 and 14 million units, but to me the PS3 prediction is the odd one. Isn't this the same PS3 that - according to EA's data - sold fewer units in 2007 than its predecessor the PS2?

There are a couple of reasons why EA might think the PS3's time has come.

The first, and most obvious, is the console's Blu-ray player, a feature that's starting to look a whole lot better after the high-definition format came out the winner at this year's Consumer Electronics Show.

Another possible reason for the prediction is the nowhere-to-go-but-up theory. Having sold less than half the consoles as Microsoft's Xbox 360 (6.1 million to 12.4 million), Sony's machine has more untapped gamers to foist its hardware on.

The third and final reason is, of course, the games, as both Grand Turismo 5 and Metal Gear Solid 4 are expected to be released this year. (Final Fantasy XIII, on the other hand, not so much.)

We'll check back in a couple of months to see how EA's predictions jibe with NPD's numbers for North America.