Specific Games Not Major Console Purchase Factor

May 20, 2010

The availability of a specific game title is not a major motivating factor behind the purchase of a specific video game console, according to research by The Nielsen Company.

‘God of War III’ Indicates Single Games Don’t Drive Console Purchases
Using the recent Playstation 3-exclusive “God of War III” (GOW III) release, which received heavy marketing promotion and media coverage, as a lens, Nielsen explored the motivating factors for purchasing a Playstation 3.

Among those gamers motivated to acquire a PS3 because they are looking forward to buying a specific game, GOW III was the clear winner. However, overall results indicate that specific game titles rank as the least frequently cited reason for being interested in purchasing a PS3.
When asked to rank the five most important reasons (out of 10 possible, with a rank of 1 indicating the most important reason) for being interested in buying a PS3, gamers included “I am looking forward to buying a specific game” 12% of the time, lagging behind all the other potential motivators by a substantial margin.


While Blu-ray capability (65%) and the PS3 price reduction (63%) are included most often overall, there is evidence that suggests that software and gaming strongly motivate these potential buyers, with the full library of games cited by 62% of respondents.

In addition, the desire to connect and play games with friends who already own a PS3 (56%) and the ability to play multiplayer games on the PlayStation Network (42%) that speak to the appeal of PS3 as a gaming platform are also included by many gamers, indicating that these respondents are motivated to purchase the system in part for its gaming capabilities.

Half of Gamers Want Multimedia
Not to be overlooked is that nearly half (49%) cited interest in the console for its multimedia capabilities. This is especially interesting because the tagline for Sony’s recent marketing campaign, “It only does everything,” touts the entertainment versatility of the PS3 even as it features specific high-profile games, including GOW III, in select ads. Considering the data, it appears as though this marketing strategy complements consumer sentiment.

Video Gamers Consume New Media
Video game category buyers (those spending at least $1 per month on game-related content) consume several other forms of new media at a rate higher than the general population, according to other recent research from The Nielsen Company.

Video game category buyers, who comprise 24% of US households, devote a percentage of their wallet share at a rate 120% or higher than the general population in five media categories besides video game content:

  • Buying or renting feature films on DVD, Blu-Ray or video (4.3% compared to 3.5%).
  • Participating in sports activities (4.1% compared to 3.1%).
  • Buying CDs, MP3s, or other forms of music (3.8% compared to 2.8%).
  • Entertainment-related options on the internet (website subscriptions) (2.7% compared to 2.2%).
  • Buying video-on-demand or pay-per-view (1.8% compared to 1.2%).

About the Data: Nielsen surveyed 700 active gamers ages 7-54 who do not currently own a PS3, but are definitely or probably interested in acquiring the system in the next six months, during a three-week period prior to, during and after its March 16, 2010 release.


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