Former Sony Computer Entertainment Europe president, Chris Deering, has predicted that Sony and Nintendo will tie in the hardware sales by 2011.

Speaking at the Edinburgh Interactive Festival as chairman, Deering said he came to this conclusion by triangulating Screen Digest and IDG data.

He also took into account factors such as the growth of HD and the grey gamer market, the emergence of new game engines and the fact Wi-Fi is now far more readily available.

He reckons that hardware sales will rise on the whole from 316 million at present, to 500 million over the next three years, with "two big mega-powers" behind the increase.

Deering's figures suggested that sales of the DS would reach 150 million by 2011, with Wii sales racking up to 80 million. He also predicted that the sales figures for PS3 would hit 80 million withint he same time frame, with PS2 reaching 90 million and PSP, 70 million.

Add this all up and what have you got? Sony and Nintendo selling 230 million machines each by 2011.

The other 40 million remaining, Deering has attributed to 360 sales, saying it and any sequels will experience "decent growth".

In addition, Deering predicted the number of potential gamers will hit 2.5 billion worldwide, including those playing on PCs and mobile phones.