Report Grades Next-Gen Console Features

Officials from The NPD Group have released details of the group's new Next Generation Purchase Intent report, showing that 87 percent claim 'appealing games' primarily drive their console buying habits, with 68 percent saying backward compatibility is the
Officials from marketing and research firm The NPD Group have released details of a new report named Next Generation Purchase Intent, which examines the importance which consumers attribute to various next generation hardware and software features. According to the report, the most important feature by far, with 87 percent of respondents claiming it as their number one concern, was appealing game titles. The second highest concern, at 68 percent, was backwards compatibility with games from previous generations of the same console. "Price is definitely a factor, but not as much as is content," said analyst Anita Frazier. "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." The report suggests that males and those under 35 years of age are the most passionate about the overall features of the new consoles, but that those users which NPD categorize as “heavy gamers” are more likely to emphasize the importance of not just game titles and backwards compatibility, but also wireless controllers, Wi-Fi capability and the ability to play games online. Those gamers classed by NPD as “infrequent”, “secondary” and “prefer portable” also expressed an interest in the new consoles, with more than 40 percent showing interest in the PlayStation 3 and Wii. Interestingly, 79 percent of heavy gamers claimed an interest in the Wii and 70 percent in the PlayStation 3. Of those planning to buy only one next generation console, though, 62 percent planned on purchasing the PlayStation 3. The data for the report was collected via an online survey e-mailed to a representative sample of 16,670 NPD consumer panel members aged between 6 and 44 years old and was conducted between July 11th and 28th, 2006. The report questioned consumers only on the three next generation consoles: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii. Further information, including how to receive a copy of the full report, can be found at The NPD Group's website.

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