Though it's always risky to call a winner before the race is over, EEDAR analyst Jesse Divnich figures there's basically no chance that the best-selling home console of this generation will be anything but the Nintendo Wii -- even if Nintendo were to suffer an unusually bad few years, and its competitors were to enjoy unusually good years.

Here's Divnich's "worst-case scenario": "For the Wii, let us assume a 25% decline in sales next year," he postulates, "followed by two years of 30% declines, and a 50% decline in 2013. For the Xbox 360, we'll assume a 10% increase through 2012, and a 30% decline in 2013. For the PlayStation 3, a 25% increase next year, followed by two years of 10% increases and a 30% decline in 2013."

Even with those unlikely numbers, Divnich says, the Wii comes out selling about as much as the PS2 has, and claims victory over the Xbox 360 and PS3. The reality will, of course, be much more complicated than the projection. Divnich notes that Nintendo is likely to release some kind of new hardware, either in the form of a bundle or an upgraded system, that will affect sales; "Additionally, we know that Sony plans to support the PS3 through 2016, which means there are three additional years where Sony could gain a tremendous amount of ground on the Wii and Xbox 360 by being able to offer an affordable Blu-ray player to consumers (very similar to the late success the PS2 had by being able to offer consumers an incredibly cheap video game system/DVD player)."

Still, it seems that the only chance for a second-place Wii is for the DS to eventually become large enough to count as a home console.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.

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