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"Xbox", "PlayStation" Search Doesn't Show The Full Picture

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Posted by: Matt Liebl

A recent figures update from Bing showing the Top 2011 Searches revealed that "Xbox" was more searched than "Playstation" in 2011.  According to their results, "Playstation" was even behind "Kindle" in user searches.  Of course, that is only one search engine, and most people judge according to the search engine leader Google.

Luckily, PlayStation Lifestyle did us all a favor and compared the two searches using Google Trends.  Agreeing with Bings findings, "Xbox" was the more searched term on Google compared to "Playstation".  BUT, that doesn't really paint the entire picture accurately.

You see, when it comes to consoles, specifically the PlayStation and Xbox, there have been multiple versions.  Odds are, when you're searching something for the most recent PlayStation or Xbox console you are using more popular search phrases like "PS3" or "PlayStation 3" or "xbox 360".  People tend to specificy the exact system they are looking for - particularly when it comes to the PlayStation 3.

The problem with comparing ONLY the term "PlayStation" and "Xbox" is you aren't taking into account the specificsearch terms.  So we took the liberty to use Google Trends and compare, what we consider to be, the more popular gaming search terms for Xbox and PlayStation.

Below is the graph analyzing the Google Trends for PlayStation and Xbox related searches.  The five search terms we compared were "xbox", "playstation", "ps3", "xbox 360", and "playstation 3".  We also compared "playstation3" and "xbox360" but those results were so miniscule they made no difference.

As you can see from the results, the term "playstation" isn't even the most looked for term when searching for Sony's console.  It is, instead, "ps3".  Now when comparing "PS3" to "Xbox", the search results are MUCH closer. Granted, it still looks like Xbox 360-related searches beat out PS3-related searches, but the results are much more closer than Bing or PlayStation Lifestyle originally made them out to be.

The fact is we'll never have a fully accurate number of search terms for each console.  Only the actual search engine has those numbers.  All we have are estimates and assumptions, and those previous assumptions were blatantly unfair to the PS3.

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