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Features, not game titles driving console adoption

Consumers are buying the PS3 as a full-featured device, not for game titles. This could reshape how games and consoles are marketed in the future.

New research from Nielsen Games shows that the purchase of a specific game title actually ranks lowest in a list of purchase motivators and that consumers are driven by a myriad of factors that relate more toward a longer-term usage pattern than an impulse purchase for a specific title.

In the study of God of War III--a PlayStation 3 (PS3) exclusive--Nielsen found that the new game title had some influence in the sale of the console, but far less than would have been expected. In fact, buying a specific game was at the bottom of the list of purchase motivators.

PS3 Purchase Motivators
The Nielsen Company

The surveyed gamers are clearly interested in some of the newer functionality and marketing efforts that have been introduced in the PS3, including Blu-ray and online connected gaming. And the fact that 49 percent of the users were interested in new multimedia capabilities suggests that the PS3 is seen as more than just a game console.

While there are no hard numbers that show the volume of marketing dollars spent on new features versus new games, I would venture a guess that far more money is spent on branding the games themselves, suggesting a possible imbalance in how games and consoles are marketed both together and separately.

As Nielsen points out, Sony has done a good job of branding the PS3's versatility as more than a game console and it would appear that consumers are responding to the notion that one device can address many needs.