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PS2 Boxing Out Xbox and GameCube

6 Aug, 2002 By: Hive News

Twenty-nine percent of all video gamers own a PlayStation 2, versus ten percent for the GameCube and eight percent for the Xbox, according to the "Digital Gaming in America Survey," a marketing survey about the demographics of the game industry from the Ziff Davis Media Game Group at their Sixth Electronic Gaming Summit in Napa, California. This annual survey video game market trends and provides information on consumers and their game buying habits.

With a 14.1 million user base as of July 2002, Sony's PlayStation 2 has a commanding edge over its competitors: Nintendo's GameCube boasts 4.8 million households and Xbox comes in third with 3.8 million. The survey revealed that although falling behind in 2002, there is good news ahead regarding Microsoft's Xbox console.

When queried, "what console do you plan to buy?" 17 percent of gamers planned on a PlayStation 2, 15 percent an Xbox and 9 percent a GameCube. Because the study is designed to be projected against all U.S. households, those percentages give Sony the lead in 2003 with a 24.1 million user base, Microsoft will take second place with a 13.7 million and Nintendo third with an 11.2 million. And all three systems are very close in customer satisfaction, with owners of the PlayStation 2, GameCube and Xbox rating each console at 88, 87 and 81 percent, respectively, as "very satisfactory."

The contest over the future of online games bodes well for Microsoft's ambitions, with 50 percent of respondents who own an Xbox having broadband connections, versus 41 percent of PlayStation 2 owners and 31 percent of GameCube owners.

Play It Again
For the first time in the six-year annual survey, the Ziff Davis Media Game Group quantified the willingness for gamers to buy sequels in video game franchises.

"We decided to give game publishers and industry watchers an independent measure of what franchises are hot and which ones are not," said group publisher Lee Uniacke.

According to the survey, the top ten franchises are:

1. Mario

2. Star Wars

3. Donkey Kong

4. Grand Theft Auto

5. Sonic

6. Spider-Man

7. Legend of Zelda

8. The SIMS

9. Pac-Man

10. Final Fantasy

About the top ten sequels, Uniacke stated, "The biggest surprise was that Grand Theft Auto came out of nowhere to bump down venerable series like Final Fantasy and Legend of Zelda. Only one PC game -- The SIMS – made the list, and Pac-Man, a true blast from the past, was a welcome addition."

The Survey Also Said …
The survey also revealed a variety of interesting data about gamers, their interests and their lifestyles:

* Eighty-six percent of those who consider themselves "core gamers" say they have purchased a game after renting it. They talk about video games approximately three hours a week, almost three times as much as average video gamers, and spend $96.9 a month on video games, almost six times the average gamer. “Core gamers” also plan to buy three video games in the next 60 days, five times the average gamer.

* "Core gamers" also have distinct shopping habits. 60 percent buy used games, and 42 percent trade in old games for store credit. Only 5 percent of video gamers have sold a game on Ebay.

* Twenty-eight percent of video gamers purchased games at Wal-Mart, up from 26 percent in 2001, edging out Best Buy as the retail outlet of choice, with only 16 percent of gamers, down from 19 percent in 2001.

The blind survey of 2,000 people was conducted by the Strategy Group, an independent third-party research company, through national random-digit dialing to find video and PC gamers. The fieldwork closed in July 2002.Ziff Davis Media Game Group is a major publisher of video and PC game magazines in the United States, including Electronic Gaming Monthly, GameNow GameNow, Xbox Nation and Computer Gaming World. Ziff Davis Media Game Group is a part of Ziff Davis Media Inc., a special interest media company focused on the technology and game markets.

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