Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo battle over undecided gamers

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Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo battle over undecided gamers

According to an IGN survey, 14% are unsure about their next next-gen videogame console purchase. Microsoft has a headstart over both Sony and Nintendo, however the Sony Playstation 3 sports a 36% allegiance versus Microsoft XBox 360's 28%. Having trouble deciding - I say just buy one of each. Here's the IGN survey synopsis...
Console Makers Must Court PlayStation 2-Owner Fans of "Lost" who Listen to Gorillaz on their MP3 Players and Eat at Taco Bell, According to IGN May 1, 2006 - Brisbane, Calif. - In the race to be the leading next-generation console, any of the three manufacturers can take the prize, according to results of a recent study by IGN Entertainment's GamerMetrics and IGN Research Solutions. The "IGN Research: Next-Gen Console Allegiance" survey shows that while 36% of the audience claims loyalty to the PlayStation 3, the spread is narrow enough for the undecided 14% to make the critical difference.  28% say they have the strongest allegiance to the Xbox 360, while 22% pledge their faithfulness to the Nintendo Wii.

IGN's survey also profiled and analyzed the undecided gamer by lifestyle choices, media consumption habits, favorite brands and game genre preferences to understand what Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony need to consider as they strategize to emerge as the victor. One noteworthy quality about the undecided gamers is the fact that they prefer role-playing games (RPGs), while the favorite genre of the entire survey sample is Action.  This, coupled with the fact that 79% currently own a PlayStation 2 - traditionally considered the top console for players of RPGs - might give Sony the edge over their competitors. Favorite brands of the undecided gamers include Google, Apple, Coke, Taco Bell, Target and Dell.  The group's affinity for youth-focused brands that offer quality products for reasonable prices might favor Nintendo's next-gen approach.

Gamers undecided about their next-gen purchases seem to spend more time and money consuming their entertainment at home.  More have sizable DVD collections than go out to the movies (67% own at least 20 DVDs, while only 50% went to see a movie within the 30 days before taking the survey), and many (47%) plan to buy an HDTV.  They won't be using it to watch MTV, however.  Only 17% watch "Punk'd," while an even smaller 10% watch "The Real World."  Undecided gamers will instead be watching their choice television drama, "Lost," as will those allied with the Xbox 360, a positive sign for Microsoft.  PlayStation 3 enthusiasts by and large prefer "24," while Nintendo Wii devotees favor "Smallville."

Other findings about the undecided gamer include:
• 70% own a handheld gaming device (their preferred handheld being the PSP)
• 90% regularly download music from the internet; 60% own MP3 players
• Favorite band is Gorillaz (which is true also for those most excited about  the Nintendo Wii.  Xbox 360 fans prefer Nirvana, while those awaiting the   PlayStation 3 most enjoy Eminem.)

IGN's research suggests that Microsoft must lose its reputation as being first and foremost for the First-Person Shooter crowd to appeal to a broader market. Nintendo must appeal to the consumer who can not afford to spend close to $500 on a new console and Sony must reach out to their loyalists by promoting backwards capability with the PlayStation 2 and offering functionality with the PSP. IGN Entertainment's network of videogame-related properties which includes, GameSpy, FilePlanet, TeamXbox, Direct2Drive and others is the web's number one videogame information destination and attracts one of the largest concentrated audiences of young males on the Internet. GamerMetrics data is based on more than 30 million users' activity on these, and on a pool of more than half a million users volunteering which titles they own, want and are evaluating. IGN's "Next-Gen Console Allegiance" survey is available at no charge to members of the press, industry analysts and clients of IGN.

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