Yankee Group predicts that, despite intense competition from Microsoft and Nintendo, the PlayStation 3 will take the crown by narrow margin.
The analysts believe that Microsoft offers the most competition at present, having got off to a flying start by launching its Xbox 360 nearly 12 months before the PlayStation 3.
Yankee Group estimates that the PlayStation 3 will have sold about 30 million units by 2011, and will account for 44 per cent of cumulative third-generation console sales in North America.
Microsoft will have sold nearly 27 million units, accounting for 40 per cent of the market, and Nintendo will come in at a distant third, having sold just over 11 million units, accounting for 16 per cent of the market.
"By the time third-generation consoles reach market maturity in 2011, the PlayStation 3 will once again be the market leader," said Michael Goodman, Yankee Group media & entertainment strategies senior analyst.
"With a growing installed base of connected consoles, content owners are beginning to recognise the potential video game consoles offer as a distribution channel.
"Additionally, these platforms will serve as a strong medium for advertising, validating the growing market for in-game and around-game advertising."
Yankee Group also believes that fewer consoles will be sold this generation, primarily due to higher per-unit prices.
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