The latest report from research firm NPD Group reveals that just 29 percent of core gamers are planning on buying a next generation console as soon as they become available. Those aren’t exactly the sort of numbers that Microsoft and Sony were probably hoping to hear but if recently releases from Nintendo and Sony in the form of the Wii U and PS Vita are any indication, they could be pretty accurate.
NDP Group polled more than 6,000 people in the survey but only 887 qualified for their definition of a core gamer. Core gamers are described as players over the age of nine that play games for five or more hours per week on an Xbox 360, PS3, PC or Mac. Furthermore, they must play at least one game that fits into any of the following genres: play action, adventure, fighting, flight, massively multi-player, racing, real time strategy, role-playing, shooter or sports game.
In January, Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai said sales of the PS Vita were on the low end of expectations and just last month, the company announced plans to slash the price of the portable gaming system by as much as 33 percent in Japan. Sony said the move was a result of feeling increased competition from free and cheap games sold on smartphones and tablets.
I would venture a guess that a lot of the success of next generation consoles hinges on the initial launch price. If Sony and Microsoft are dead set on launching at a price point that’s deemed too expensive, odds are it’ll be some time before they are able to make strides on the new platforms.