Exclusive games decide console purchase for UK consumers

Poll of over 2,450 hardcore gamers puts games ahead of price; media functionality the least important factor

Exclusive games are the number one reason for consumers to buy a next-generation games console, according to a survey of over 2,450 people who attended EGX 2013.

Microsoft's Xbox One launches in Europe this Friday backed by exclusive titles Forza Motorsport 5, Killer Instinct, Dead Rising 3, Ryse: Son of Rome and Fighter Within. One week later is the release of the PlayStation 4, with its handful of exclusives - Resogun, Killzone: Shadowfall and Knack.

Of those surveyed, 34 per cent said that exclusive games were the most important factor when choosing a new games console, closely followed by the price of the hardware at 29 per cent. Just over 21 per cent of those surveyed put exclusive games as the second most important factor when buying a new games console.

The Xbox One will retail in the UK for £429 when it's released this week, a significantly higher price than the PlayStation 4's £349. But both those prices rise when official bundles and retailer's own deals are taken into account.

Brand loyalty was an important factor for 11 per cent of voters, while owning the same hardware as their friends was top of the list for 10 per cent of consumers.

DRM policies were marginally ahead of online services such as Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network with around 8 and 6 per cent of votes, respectively.

The least important factor when buying a new console was its functionality as a media hub, with only 2 per cent of those surveyed putting ahead of any other option. That may be something of a surprise to Microsoft which has been pushing the TV, streaming and online capabilities of the Xbox One since it was first officially unveiled.

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Latest comments (15)

Neil Young Programmer, Rebellion Developments8 years ago
Depending on how those surveyed define "next generation", that may bode rather well for nintendo?
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Craig Burkey Software Engineer 8 years ago
For me, most of my games for the 360 are multi platform from EA, Ubisoft & Take Two, while I love Halo the reports on the power discrepancy is the most important factor(indicating that the PS4 will have better versions) combined for me with the cheaper price tag makes my PS4 purchase close to inevitable
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Nicholas Pantazis Senior Editor, VGChartz Ltd8 years ago
@ Craig Those were influencing factors for me as well. No company is going to beat Nintendo on exclusives, which is why I own a Wii U. My PS4 was purchased primarily to play multiplatform games. Other influencing factors were the value of PS+ (especially if you own all 3 PlayStation devices) and Sony's first party being more active, high quality, and varied than Microsoft's.
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Mihai Cozma Indie Games Developer 8 years ago
I will wait a bit more to see how things go on before deciding. Maybe more exclusives will appear during the next year.
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Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer 8 years ago
Ill always have a Nintendo console alongside other consoles. To me Nintendo's consoles arent expendeble and are must have simply for there exclusives alone. Its why Nintendo is still in business. Its why the worst they can do is put those exclusive IP on other platforms. Xbox doesnt really have any exclusives that Im really fond of, except for HALO and Killer Instinct. I played a Killer Instinct demo at a game convention, and after playing it I was sold. I probably wont get an Xbox anytime soon or ever because of it, but damn, I really liked what i played. I find that SONY has many more exclusives than Xbox. And I guess my fondness for these exclusives are what makes me get there console, without any second thoughts. And its not just existing exclusives, Its pretty much the fact that SONY is always creating new IP. They own 12 studios that currently churn out exclusive great games for the console. So I stick with SONY cause I know I can look foward to existing or brand new exclusive IP and this is probably microsofts weakest area. Its why I dont care to much for them. If I was Microsoft I would do everything I can to own respawn entertainment simply to nab TitanFall. Which is probably one of the Xbox exclusives that also have me sold.

The PS4 was at a pretty comforatible price. 300$ is still the magic number, but SONY had the publics goodwill, they have a bunch of people represention them that simply seem like cool people. Unlike Ken Kitaragi who was arogant, they have guys like Shuhei Yoshida, Jack Tretton, Mark Cerny, Andrew House, Adam Boyes who are a group of very likable people that actually seem to address the concerns of gamers. I really felt they made a product tailor made to games wants and wishes, vs a product that tells the consumer what they should want, like Apple and Microsoft do alot. Even the president this time around Kazuo Hirai seems like a cool guy.

Finally i think what sold me aside from exclusives and console price was also the shift in attitude from the company. It seems like a group of people who understand gamers and cater to gamer needs versus a bunch of guys in suits that are just interested in financial graphs and pie charts, looking to invest in the next business venture uninterested in the very thing they are putting down money for.

Finally I just want note I hope Xbox sells well too, since its success will contribute greatly to console gaming. And microsoft removed most of the things I was fed up about. I just hate that you have to install every game.

I like it when companies satisfy consumer needs instead of dictating and trying to sell what they think consumers need.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Rick Lopez on 18th November 2013 7:26pm

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Christophe Danguien games developer 8 years ago
(indicating that the PS4 will have better versions) => Are you being Realistic Craig. I doubt that will be true...
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So many MS executives have left its hard to understand the thinking behind the "Media Center" against "Game Platform" approach that defined the development of the XBone - many would argue that much of this thinking has been proven invalid, and that MS have been desperately back peddling on the idea trying regain a game based platform footing in order to compete with Sony and the PS4.

All this said major players from sports, television and movies backed a 'media center' initiative and signed up via agreements with MS - we can not forget the level of football licensing agreements MS have committed too - if the XBone dose not supply this platform, these guys may go elsewhere to achieve their strategy of controlling the 'living room' and dump on MS!

I look at the consumer games sector and wonder if the dogged support of the console initiative has been a good strategy for a diverse and healthy industry? The internecine war we see just over the issue of PC against Console a case in point - is this a games industry of a console publishers industry?

If XBone and Wii-U suffer less than stellar sales, is a one horse race enough to keep the business strategy of the big publishers going, or will an inevitable restructuring of the game playing landscape be caused by Generation Eight?
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Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant 8 years ago
If you ask hard core gamers they are going to answer with the platform that gives them the most/best hard core games. Obvious really.

Going for a broader audience the 40% better graphics and lower price might help the PS4, whilst the media hub capabilities might help the Xbone. "Might" being the operative word.
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All this early buying is by platform fans, Xbox first week sales will be good too. In fact unless something goes very wrong, all the signs are that this Gen will play out like last Gen - PS4 being X% more powerful means little when 90% of sales are from cross platform titles. It all looks boringly familiar from here, maybe it will hot up over time.
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Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing 8 years ago
Media center functionality will play little to no role as most streaming services are provided by third parties that would have a hard time explaining their shareholders why they skip one part of the market to give MS or Sony a leg up. It's like asking EA and Ubisoft to turn platform exclusive. Not going to happen.

However, I also believe media functionality will be the second most important reason after games. But it is another market Valve is in a position to brutalize with their platform approach. Not to speak of Apple which gets more appealing the further you are from core games. Asking a non-gamer to buy a console for streaming at this point, is like asking an Iphone user to actually make a phone call.
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Gregory Hommel writer 8 years ago
Help me please. How is it possible that Microsoft wins the Exclusive battle here? Is there any doubt that Sony's PS4 exclusives will outnumber Microsoft's 3:1? That's a conservative projection. The only question to ask today is how many first party exclusives are known about.

Games become exclusive for many reasons these days. I don't see how the difference between first party power doesn't win it for Sony every time. If Microsoft plans on completely changing their first party strategy this time, it will be a very interesting generation for gamers. If not, where does the confidence some from.

Perhaps the situation will play out like this; All the games that came out on PS3 that were inferior to the Xbox 360 can just become exclusives. I'll still take Sony. My 360 has been a fun, fun console experience. If not for my PS3, there are things I would not have known were possible in games.
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Paul Jace Merchandiser 8 years ago
I think this is true for most territories, especially here in the US. Thats why I'm getting an Xbox One. Next year it will allow me to play Halo 5 and Titanfall, two games that won't be available on NIntendo or Sony's systems. Those along with Remedy's new game and a bunch of other exclusives guaranteed my choice but I of course also play third party titles. However, I've found that it's better to play those on the system that all of my friends will be getting so that I always have peeps to play with. Hopefully around E3 theres a next gen(current gen by that point) Gears of War announcement.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Paul Jace on 19th November 2013 3:32am

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David Canela Game & Audio Designer 8 years ago
While it's interesting what hardcore gamers attending a gaming convention have to say, it's quite a stretch to draw conclusions like the headline's.

So early adopters don't care about pricing? Who'd have thought...
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Heloise Thomson Research Analyst, Enders Analysis8 years ago
@david canela I totally agree. Gamers who attend a gaming convention aren't representative of mainstream consumers. No broad conclusions on purchasing intent can be drawn from this poll. And anyway, the launch period will sell out of hardware for both Sony and Microsoft. Things will only get interesting next year when more sensitive consumers balance out the critical reviews, price, product benefits, games and the product narrative.
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Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer 8 years ago
Well I guess Price is the decding factor for me. It will decide if i get a console early in its life cycle or later when the price drops. The XB1 is clearly at a price I wont even consider. If the PS4 had come out at that price I wouldnt have gotten it until the price dropped. When the PS3 came out I didnt buy it until it dropperd to 400$. 600$ was just to damn expensive and I got the PS3 that was bundled with MGS4. So that was another 60$ I saved. The second factor for me is exclusives. I cleary enjoy SONY's exclusives and third party multiplatform games dont really come into this since they are available on both systems. So YES, I agree that exclusives have something to do when deciding what console to purchase.
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