Why Does The Midwest Love PS4?

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Steve Anderson
The Video Store Guy
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Why Does The Midwest Love PS4?

A new and somewhat unusual map recently came into view, as the Movoto Real Estate Blog took a look at breakdowns of Facebook likes in various states and discovered that certain states in the United States had some rather clear preferences in terms of next-generation video game systems. While these were aggregated trends based on some rather limited scale measures, the trends were clear enough to make note of and from there speculate upon.

The map makes it oddly clear: the coasts are largely Xbox One territory, but the farther one gets from the coast in either direction, the more likely it is that the trend will swing to PlayStation 4. Naturally, there are exceptions, but for the most part the pattern holds true. Indeed, if the next-gen console wars were a presidential election, we'd be greeting President Microsoft tomorrow. Reports suggest that Microsoft would have 286 electoral votes, controlling states like California and Texas—which may well be one of the first times those two have agreed on anything—while states like South Dakota, Tennessee, and Ohio went to PS4.

Microsoft's presence was felt throughout the West—the westernmost state with PS4 dominance in the continental U.S. is Nebraska—but there was a tie in both Oregon and Idaho. There were also ties in odd places, including Oklahoma, Kansas, Louisiana, South Carolina and Mississippi. Alaska and Hawaii, however, came in as Xbox One states.

Naturally, pulling proof out of this concept will be like pulling teeth out of an enraged puma—it will be a fight to do so and the results won't exactly be useful or pleasant—but there's something here we can use. It's interesting to note that the regions were so clearly split. Just looking at that map is like looking at lines drawn across the country. There are odd outliers—for some reason North Dakota is an Xbox One state, while Maine is a PS4 state—but there's this huge block of blue right in the middle of the country. The PS4 / Xbox One lines are oddly clear until you get to New England, where it's a serious tossup.

Is it because the PS4 is regarded as more of a game machine? Do the other states appreciate Microsoft's efforts to go for total living room dominance? What about pricing? Is pricing an issue? Perhaps the less affluent states, on average—the Midwest, typically—might have had an interest in saving that hundred dollars at launch.

But what's clear here, though, is that there may ultimately be something to this. It might just prove valuable in the long term to get a handle on just what's going on and present some accompanying information. What do the actual demographics look like? Have we been seeing a clear distribution with more PS4s going to the heartland than Xbox Ones? The only thing that this study has really told us is that maybe there needs to be an actual study done. With a split this clear, it's odd to think that this might be coincidence, or this is just how people in these states who are also on Facebook feel. Sometimes the best you can do is to discover you need more information, and a study like this might just give someone a marketing edge down the line.