Whether it’s a bad omen or not, seasoned industry analyst Michael Pachter is really chucking his chips into the PlayStation 4’s basket. As part of an exhaustive industry forecast – mercifully summarised by our friends over at Games Industry.biz – the Wedbush Securities man predicts that Sony’s next generation machine will outsell the Xbox One by a whopping 30 per cent through 2016.

The outspoken analyst suggested that Microsoft’s machine will move around 29 million units globally by the close of the abovementioned year, while the PS4 will sell a superior 37.7 million units. The likeable suit expects the Nintendo Wii U to finish up in third place, with just 20 million units in the books by the end of the same period. This should make harrowing toilet reading for Satoru Iwata.

Nevertheless, if you’re holding out hope for a price drop during that time, Pachter has more bad news. The executive only expects Sony to shave off $100 over the next three years, concluding that the Japanese giant’s latest console will still retail for a relatively expensive $299 in the far-flung future. The oracle does admit that his figures could fluctuate depending on how swiftly Microsoft responds to its competitor’s success. Our guess is very quick.

Still, it’s the third-party publishers that may be rubbing their hands while the two giants do battle. The analyst expects software sales to increase by ten per cent this year, then by seven per cent and six per cent in 2015 and 2016 respectively. The GameTrailers host puts these improvements down to the enthusiasm created by new hardware. You can’t see him, but Activision gaffer Bobby Kotick’s sitting in his solid gold office rubbing his hands.

[via gamesindustry.biz]