Bluetooth gaming faces 'volatile' future

Most personal area networking connectivity employed in electronic games is provided by Bluetooth, but experts predict "volatile" growth for the technology over the next four years.

Bluetooth will grow strongly in the personal gaming market, and new data from ABI Research forecasts Bluetooth shipments for non-portable consoles to peak at over 115 million units in 2009 before declining to 2007 levels in 2012.

"The gaming console market has a product lifecycle rhythm that ebbs and flows," said senior ABI analyst Douglas McEuen.

Product generations are usually at least three or four years apart, and the market skyrockets when a new console is released.

There is still considerable interest in the console 12 months later, but sales taper off over the following several years.

Then the next-generation console appears, and the market repeats the pattern. This cycle affects components such as Bluetooth.

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