With E3 getting underway next week, all eyes are on the major platform holders' motion control solutions -- Xbox 360's Natal and PlayStation 3's Move -- and how consumers will react.
Following a recent survey from OTX's U.S. tracking study GamePlan Insights that found purchase intent for Move and Natal both below 10 percent
, Nielsen is contributing its own survey about consumer awareness and purchase intent that paints a less-stark picture.
Nielsen's survey, as detailed on its website
, is somewhat similar in size, encompassing 2,400 people described as "active gamers" versus OTX's 2,000 pool. 23 percent of Nielsen's respondents are aware that Move exists, and 21 percent are aware of Natal.
The percentage is considerably higher among those who already own and play games for the consoles in question, says Nielsen: 42 percent of PS3 owners know what Move is, and Natal has hit the radar of 39 percent of Xbox 360 owners.
Although the difference is small, Nielsen says purchase interest in Natal is "slightly greater". But among those who know about the console, there's "substantial definite purchase interest," according to the data, leading Nielsen to conclude that these new solutions from the platform-holders are actually highly anticipated among the core consumers who own video game consoles.
When it comes to Natal, 42 percent of Xbox 360 owners who knew about Natal said they were "definitely interested" in buying it; in addition, 35 percent of the general survey pool who know about Microsoft's motion control device are definitely interested in it.
41 percent of PlayStation 3 owners aware of Move expressed a definite interest in purchasing Move, and 28 percent of those in the overall survey pool who knew about Move expressed purchase intent for the device.
However, further Nielsen research showed that there are many key details gamers still don't know -- 40 percent of gamers don't know when these solutions are launching, although both Sony and Microsoft have revealed plans for fall/holiday 2010 launches. (However, there will be major publicity about both peripherals at next week's E3 event in Los Angeles, which may change awareness numbers.)
Sony's publicly stated it won't price Move over $100, so gamers surveyed by Nielsen guess that it will cost somewhere between $26 and $75. However, estimates for Natal are much wider-ranging -- 27 percent of gamers think it will cost over $100, while a nearly-equal amount, 31 percent, think it will cost less than $50.
"The presentations of Natal and Move are highly anticipated in the industry as these products are seen as potential catalysts for holiday season buying. It will be important to gauge consumer response over the coming weeks and months as more details are revealed," says Nielsen.