PLUS: A Wii U sales forecast.

According to an IDC report, Sony's home console (77 million) passed Microsoft's XBOX 360 (76 million) units shipped in 2012, despite launching a year later.

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), worldwide PS3 shipments (77 million) surpassed global Xbox 360 shipments (76 million) in December 2012, despite launching a year later.

IDC's Worldwide Video Game and Entertainment Console Hardware and Packaged Software 2012-2016 Forecast also says the disc-based home console market will remain viable through at least 2014.

"The console ecosystem is in a state of flux since these platforms need to support an ever-growing array of non-gaming features and services at the same time that game distribution and monetization is moving in a digital direction," said IDC gaming research manager Lewis Ward in a statement. "At the same time, it doesn't appear that alternative platforms--set-top boxes from cable companies, Web-connected smart TVs, and so on--are positioned to materially disrupt the trajectory of the 'big 3' console OEMs in 2013 or 2014. Discs will remain the console game revenue mainstay for years to come."

Though the IDC believes disc-based systems will remain the main revenue generator for consoles in the years ahead, the group does expect the volume of package goods shipped with contract by 3 percent every year through 2016. This is a result of a shift in consumer spending behavior towards digital channels, the firm said.
The IDC also predicts that “Nintendo will still ‘find an audience’ with Wii U, reaching global shipments of 50 million by year-end 2016.”

"2011 and 2012 were tough for many console game disc developers and publishers. With the advent of eighth-generation consoles, starting with the Wii U, historical norms strongly imply that game disc revenue will stop bleeding in 2013 and rise substantively in 2014", they concluded.

NEWS SOURCE #1: PS3 overtakes Xbox 360 in worldwide shipments report (via) GameSpot
NEWS SOURCE #2: Report PS3 surpasses Xbox 360s worldwide shipped total (via) IGN

Our thanks to 'Gauss' for this news item!