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Forecast: Wii to Intro HD Version Soon

How the sale of video game consoles go can predict to a certain degree how Blu-ray Disc is faring as a technology, especially given the fact that all Sony PlayStation 3 units come with Blu-ray drives.

Still, Nintendo’s Wii has always sold the best of the three consoles, edging out second-place Xbox 360 from Microsoft. Wii is the lowest priced of the three consoles, although Nintendo has never offered HD options for its unit. Yet that is likely to change in the near future, according to at least one analyst.

Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter is forecasting Wii to remain the dominant console for at least the next two years, and most likely far longer. Pachter said he continues to expect Nintendo will roll out an HD version of Wii soon (something that others have predicted in past years to have already occurred, obviously a bit prematurely).

Pachter thinks the PS3 will remain third in sales behind Wii and Xbox 360 for now, but will bump Xbox out of the no. 2 slot by 2015—primarily because of Sony’s dominance in the Blu-ray market. (For one week in June, half of the Top 10 Blu-ray movies titles sold belonged to Sony Pictures.) He said Xbox 360, which continues to reap the benefits of having been introduced into the market prior to PS3, will slip to last place in coming years, primarily because it does not appear to be making any significant inroads in Japan (Sony’s home base).

Currently, the analyst said, Wii enjoys nearly half of all console sales (49%), followed by Xbox (20%) and PS3 (22%).

In a related note, Sony previewed its PlayStation Eye motion control technology at E3 last month, which could make the game console more competitive with Wii, whose innovative motion detection technology is considered the key to its popularity.