Interest in New Gaming Consoles High

June 6, 2011

nielsen-console-purchase-june-2011.JPGNearly a quarter of US gamers say they would buy a new console (successor to Wii) from Nintendo (27%) within six months of release, but a near-equal share say the same for new Sony (24%) and Microsoft (25%) consoles, according to data from The Nielsen Company. These three consoles have substantially higher percentages of gamers willing to buy within six months of release than any other consoles included in the Nielsen survey.

iPad, Nintendo 3DS Successor Next Most Popular

A new Apple iPad that could be used for gaming (successor to the iPad2) and a successor to the Nintendo 3DS system were the consoles with the next-highest percentages of gamers indicating they would willing to buy within six months of release (18%). Interestingly, none (25%) is the most popular of any option except a new Nintendo Wii console.

Gamers Have Highest Confidence New Wii Will See Market

Almost half of gamers (47%) expect Nintendo to release its new console (known as Wii 2, Wii’s successor or Project Caf?) within the next two years, surpassing the many other assumed or possible options. Nielsen says this likely reflects rumors of its pending announcement and alleged features such as HD display and controllers that include an embedded touch screen.

Nielsen analysis indicates this may also speak to some latent demand for Nintendo to delight gamers once again. Far less has been said publicly about new consoles from Microsoft (40%) and Sony (37%), but confidence is reasonably high that they will release these in the near future as well.

Although willingness to buy them is relatively low, gamers also expressed confidence there will be new console releases of the Apple iPad (39%), Apple iPod (37%), and Apple iPhone (37%).

Multi-Console Gamers Look Beyond Wii

nielsen-multiconsole-june-2011.JPGThere are gamers who have experience on both the Wii and an alternative console (Xbox 360 or PS3). Survey data shows these groups voice greater interest in a new Microsoft or Sony console than in one from Nintendo, which Nielsen says could be explained by a number of factors including comparative use or satisfaction with the precursor consoles, time since purchase of precursor consoles, prioritization of a “primary” console based on the precursors, and value considerations.

Specifically, among gamers who have played both Wii and XBox 360, 46% have interest in buying a new Microsoft console while 37% have an interest in buying a new Nintendo console. The spread is a little closer among gamers who have played both Wii and PS3, with 44% having interest in buying a new Sony console and 40% interest in buying a new Nintendo console.

Non-gaming Use of Consoles Common

Video game consoles are being used for purposes other than gaming by high percentages of owners, according to December 2010 data from The Nielsen Company. For example, about seven in 10 (72%) PlayStation 3 owners watch Blu-Ray discs on their consoles, almost equaling the percentage who play video games (80%).

PlayStation 3 is the only one of the three major video game consoles with Blu-Ray capability; however, a smaller but still significant 43% of Xbox 360 owners watch DVDs with their consoles.

Activities which one in five or more owners of all three systems participate in are watching a video on-demand streaming subscription service and using the internet for browsing, social networking and watching online video. Only 8% of Nintendo Wii owners listen to CDs, MP3s or other online/purchased music, compared to 23% of both Xbox and PlayStation 3 owners.

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