Research firm Merrill Lynch estimates Microsoft will be the winner of the next-gen battle in 2011 with a marketshare of 40% worldwide:
Through March 2011, in North America the firm expects Microsoft to be in the lead with 50 percent market share. Merrill Lynch predicts Sony and Nintendo to be almost even in North America with 27 percent and 23 percent, respectively.
The one market in which the firm believes Sony will still dominate is its native Japan. Merrill Lynch has forecast Sony to own 59 percent market share in the land of the rising sun, with Nintendo taking up almost all the remaining share at 39 percent. Obviously that doesn't bode well for Microsoft's continued struggles in Japan, but apparently Merrill Lynch doesn't believe failure in that market is enough to drag Microsoft down on a global scale.
Said Kinoshita, "We forecast respective market shares at end-FY3/11 (March 2011) of Xbox 360 [at] 39 percent, PS3 [at] 34 percent and Wii [at] 27 percent, thus overturning Sony's domination of the market with its PS2-based share of 69 percent, and doubling Microsoft and Nintendo's respective market shares."