A new iSuppli report is estimating that handheld game consoles such as the PSP and DS will ship 63.5 million units by 2013, up from 49.4 million units in 2008, as handheld gaming grows through the worldwide recession.
According to a report synopsis
by the firm, the global market for handheld video game systems is "set to buck weak conditions in the global consumer electronics market and rise by 4.9 percent in units and 8.2 percent in revenue during 2009, due to moves by Sony Corp. and Nintendo to freshen up their products."
The company notes that incremental upgrades, such as Sony's PSP-3000 upgrades in October 2008 and Nintendo's DSi additions starting in November, have meant that shipments of handheld game consoles are set to grow to 63.5 million units by 2013, up from 49.4 million units in 2008.
This equates to a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 5.2 percent during the forecast period. Revenues are set to grow to $8.1 billion by 2013, rising at a CAGR of 6.4 percent from $5.9 billion in 2008.
The analysts comment: "While the long-term growth rate isn’t staggering by any means, Nintendo’s and Sony’s platform revisions should keep their portable game console shipments growing until they are able to roll out next-generation handheld platforms."
They add that "...if both companies had introduced true next-generation platforms, the level of growth in 2009 and beyond would have been much higher. Most consumers will hold off on any purchase or upgrade until a next-generation handheld gaming device is available."
However, iSuppli believes Sony and Nintendo will not introduce next-generation handheld video game consoles until 2011, at the earliest.
[Illustration by Erin Mehlos.]