Avid gamers are quick to defend their platform of choice, often exchanging heated words over features, exclusive titles, and even company policy. In the end, there isn't one platform that's "best" for everyone, but Strategy Analytics believes the PlayStation 3 will win the console war in terms of lifetime sales.

Despite Nintendo's current lead, the research firm expects Sony to ship 127 million PS3 consoles over the lifetime of the current console generation, compared to 103 million Wii systems. "Nintendo has done a great job with the Wii in bringing console games to new audiences," said analyst David Mercer, "but its sales are now falling, particularly in mature markets, and its install base will peak in 2011." In contrast, ownership of both the PS3 and Xbox 360 will reach their highest points between 2012 and 2014.

Mercer also noted that this year's global market for consoles is likely to fall again, after a 6% decline last year. Strategy Analytics predicts that 47.5 million consoles will ship worldwide in 2010, a 9% decline. The Wii will represent most of that drop, while sales of the PS3 and Xbox 360 are expected to increase.