With the gaming industry suffering from alleged "gamer fatigue" caused by aged console hardware, all eyes are on Sony and Microsoft as we turn the page and enter the next-generation of gaming. I suppose we can include Nintendo's Wii U in there as well. There's no doubt the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 are well past their prime, but are gamers truly ready to move on to the next generation?
U.S. market research firm NPD Group has indicated that only 29% of "core" gamers intend on purchasing a next-generation console, like the PS4 or next Xbox, as soon as it is available. This was determined by a survey in completed among U.S. respondents age 9 and older who currently play games for five or more hours per week on an Xbox 360, PS3, PC, or Mac. Okay, maybe we can't include the Wii U anymore. These same respondents must play a game that fits into any of these core genres: Play Action, Adventure, Fighting, Flight, Massively Multi-Player, Racing, Real Time Strategy, Role-Playing, Shooter, or Sport games on any of those devices.
Interestingly, of the 6,322 respondents surveyed, only 887 qualified as a "core" gamer. Based on this, just over one in four plan on getting the PS4 or next Xbox. So will next generation consoles be the saving grace many analysts expect and many investors hope? Well, over four in 10, or 42% of core gamers, are not likely to purchase one at the time of release.
This survey comes at a time when both the PlayStation Vita and Nintendo Wii U, two recently released consoles, are struggling to sell units. Back in January, Sony Chief Executive Kazuo Hirai admitted Vita sales are "on the low end" of the company's expectations. Sony's Chief Financial Officer Masaru Kato followed by admitting that the company must do a better job promoting the Vita. Nintendo, meanwhile, revealed back in January that sales on a Wii U unit basis were lower than the original Wii; however, revenue generated from the Wii U was actually higher.
Maybe consumers won't flock to next-gen consoles as quickly as many investors hope. Do you plan to buy the PS4 or next-gen Xbox when they launch?
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