EAs Console PredictionsElectronic Arts offered up its opinion on the state of the hardware and software sales in 2004 for North America and Europe. EA says the next generation of video game consoles will be released in 2006, with the PSP to be released worldwide in late November or early December, with shipments of about 3 million units by the end of Sonys fiscal year in March 2005. EA says that the PSP should retail for $199 to $249, and hopes to have between 8 - 12 titles for the system on the market in FY 2005. One the current generation-side of the table the company says that Sony will sell 7 - 8 million units of its PS2 system in calendar year 2004; while Microsoft and Nintendo will sell 2.5 - 3 million of their respective systems each during the year. EA says that Europe should see 2004 hardware sales of 7 million to 8 million PS2 units and 1.5 million to 2 million units each of the Xbox and GameCube. EA predicts 2004 North American sales growth of 8 percent to 12 percent for the PS2, 15 percent to 20 percent for Xbox and 10 percent to 15 percent for the GameCube, with flat sales of software for the PC. EA also noted that it expects price cuts to $129 from $179 in the US on the PS2 and the Xbox by this spring.