According to arecent NPD Group report, specific “must-have” features are so important to some consumers that they would be willing to buy a next generation (next-gen) video game console as soon as it becomes available, regardless of price. Appealing game titles is by far the most important feature, with 87 percent of respondents claiming this as their number one concern, followed by backwards compatibility at 68 percent.
“Price is definitely a factor, but not as much as is content,” said Anita Frazier industry analyst, The NPD Group. “I've long been a believer that it isn't any particular technical capability that will win this next console battle. The story continues to be content.”
Next Generation Purchase Intent provides an in-depth analysis of the purchase dynamics surrounding the next-gen systems, which include Microsoft’s Xbox 360, as well as the upcoming Sony Playstation 3 (PS3) and Nintendo Wii. It taps into gamers’ thoughts on next-gen familiarity, purchase interest, timing and order of purchase, substitutability of consoles and importance of features.
According to the report, males and those under age 35 are the most passionate about the overall features of the next generation systems but Heavy Gamers, those who spend the most time and money on video games, are more likely than all other segments to emphasize the importance of these systems having appealing game titles, backward compatibility, wireless controllers, Wi-Fi capability, and the ability to play online.
Interestingly enough, Infrequent and Secondary gamers, as well as Prefer Portable gamers, have expressed an interest in purchasing a next-gen system - all above 40 percent for the PS3 and Wii. Heavy Gamers show a stronger interest in purchasing a Wii than a PS3, 79 percent and 70 percent, respectively, among those aware of each system. However, among those interested in purchasing only one of the Next Gen systems, the majority (62 percent) are interested only in purchasing a PS3.