Truth is, market research groups and analysts clearly do get things right and if publishers and financial institutions are willing to pay them money for their stone-casting then who are we to complain. But it's when they get things instinctively wrong that it really rankles. You get the impression a publisher would be better simply posting a message on a game forum if they want heartfelt feedback. And some do.
Most gamers we know saw the huge popularity of Nintendo's Wii coming over the horizon along time before the suits did. E3 2006 was a bit of a giveaway given that queues to play Nintendo's console were over four hours long compared to 30 minutes to experience Sony's titles.
Michael Pachter, however, called it a little differently. "In 2010 Sony's going to have 55 percent, Microsoft's going to have 35 percent and Nintendo 10 per cent," he said smearing mayonnaise on his shoe before adding: "With all three of those having plus or minus five per cent."
To be fair Pachter's prediction was in line with other forecasts. Indeed, Yankee Group had the split at 44 percent to Sony, 40 percent to Microsoft and a lowly 11 percent to Nintendo by 2011, and that was just a year ago. While there's obviously some time to go these forecasts look a little silly when you consider Nintendo's Wii currently commands 41.5 percent of the market share and shows few signs of easing up. Indeed this figure is 68 percent in the UK alone.
But it's easy to sit on the sidelines and scoff, putting your reputation on the line and prophesising the future requires guts - as baseball legend Yogi Berra once said: "making predictions is dangerous, particularly ones about the future." We'll leave the forecasting to the highly paid graph-botherers of the world and leave you with a few of our favourite ever IT prediction gaffes:
"Get your feet off my desk, get out of here, you stink, and we're not going to buy your product."
- Alleged comment said by the president of Atari when Steve Jobs was trying to drum up interest in his concept of the Mac.
"Dead, finished, gone."
- Alan Sugar's verdict on the iPod, Daily Telegraph 2005
"I think there's a world market for about five computers."
- Thomas J. Watson, chairman of the board of IBM
"There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home."
- Ken Olson, president of Digital Equipment Corp. 1977
"640K ought to be enough for anybody."
- Bill Gates, 1981