Data released today from a September consumer survey reveals Sony's PlayStation 4 (releasing today in North America) comfortably leading Xbox One (releasing next Friday) when it came to purchase intent. Interpret found that PS4 purchase interest beat out the Xbox One across the board. While it's not surprising that purchase intent would be higher in regions where Sony's devices are more popular – like Japan and a number of European countries, Interpret pointed out that the PS4 drew more purchase interest even in places where the Xbox 360 was a clear winner in the current generation.
"Purchase interest at launch does not directly translate into long term success," Interpret senior VP of research Yuanzhe (Michael) Cai told GamesIndustry International. "We all know what happened to the Wii, which had pretty low consumer purchase intent at launch. Many other factors will go into the long term success of a console including exclusives, perceived value, and increasingly the 'network effect' etc. However, these numbers provide a good indication of consumer interest at launch, a direct result of early marketing efforts and messaging effectiveness."
"When we looked at whether these potential purchasers own a current-gen equivalent, it's interesting to see that in the US and UK, a larger percentage of PS4 intenders don't own a PS3, but in all other markets, a larger percentage of Xbox One intenders don't own the current-gen equivalent," Cai said. "In other words, in the two strong Xbox markets, US and UK, PS4 seems to be better positioned to attract new PS buyers or convert Xbox owners and in other markets, Xbox One might attract more fresh blood."
In emerging markets like Russia and South Korea, gamers in both countries expressed unexpectedly high interest in the PS4 and Xbox One. Around 31 percent of Korean gamers were interested in buying the PS4, with 26 percent interested in buying an Xbox One. Those numbers were the highest of any country except the United States, which saw 48 percent interest in PS4 and 42 percent in Xbox One.
So what were the actual numbers by region? See below:
US: PS4 – 48 percent, Xbox One 42 percent
UK: PS4 31 percent, Xbox One 24 percent
Germany: PS4 – 28 percent, Xbox One – 17 percent
France: PS4 – 25 percent, Xbox One – 18 percent
Australia: PS4 – 30 percent, Xbox One – 21 percent
Russia: PS4 – 27 percent, Xbox One – 24 percent
Japan: PS4 – 31 percent, Xbox One – 13 percent
Korea: PS4 – 31 percent, Xbox One – 26 percent
Of course, attitudes can change in the blink of an eye, and with critics mostly panning Sony's line-up of launch titles, it will be interesting to see just how well that plays out during the Holiday shopping season. Some of the proof will be in the early numbers, which we should start to see indications of sometime next week for Sony's newest console. If they are particularly large you can bet that Sony will want to talk about them – especially as Microsoft launches its system…