With recent reports of Sony and rather surprisingly Nintendo too losing money, they undoubtedly have high hopes for their next generation of consoles, but this recent survey from goo Research and reported on by japan.internet.com into games machines (the first in a new series of regular surveys) does not make good reading.
Between the 17th and 19th of October 2011 1,083 members of the goo Research online monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 53.3% of the sample were male, 16.3% in their teens, 18.2% in their twenties, 21.9% in their thirties, 16.3% in their forties, and 27.3% aged fifty or older.
I wonder if just as people talk about a post-PC world where smartphones and tablets take the fore, are we also entering a post-console world? Zynga, the makers of FarmVille and other Facebook games are about to float at a valuation of $6 billion, and DeNA, the people who run the almost-exclusively Japanese gaming site Mobage had a turnover of about $1.5 billion (yes, dollars, not yen) last year with a profit ratio of about 50%! However, both these companies offer mainly pretty simple browser-based games using the freemium model – free to play, but with additional items available for a fee. Similarly, the iPhone and Android app stores price games very cheap and support them using either or both in-game advertising or paid-for additional items or levels. Thus, a separate console plus $30 or $40 per game looks not too good a deal.
First of all, 64.1% of the sample (694 people) owned a games machine. The most popular was the Nintendo DS family, with 62.2% of the 694 owning one, then 53.0% with a PlayStation 2, 51.7% with a Nintendo Wii, 34.3% with a PlayStation Portable, and 27.8% a PlayStation 3.
Furthermore, of the sample 694 people, 42.8% actually played with their Nintendo DS, 36.2% with their Wii, 22.2% with their PlayStation Portable, 20.6% with their PlayStation 3, and 20.6% with their PlayStation 2.
Q1: Do you want to buy the PlayStation Vita, which is due to be released on the 17th of December 2011? (Sample size=1,083)
Want to buy 10.2% Don’t want to buy, but interested in it 35.2% Not interested in it 54.6%
Q2: Do you want to buy the Nintendo Wii U, which is due to be released some time in 2012? (Sample size=1,083)
Want to buy 9.4% Don’t want to buy, but interested in it 36.1% Not interested in it 54.5%