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Research: PS3 exclusives don't sell consoles

Playing a specific game is least popular reason to buy a console; Blu-ray comes out on top

New research from Nielsen Games has shown that, contrary to popular belief, the release of a big game isn't necessarily enough to motivate consumers to buy a new games console.

In fact, wanting to play one particular game was cited as the least motivating factor in buying a console by gamers questioned for the survey, coming out as far less important than Blu-ray capabilities, price reductions and online capabilities.

For its research, Nielson quizzed 700 active gamers aged 7-54 who did not currently own a PlayStation 3 but were "definitely" or "probably" interested in buying one in the following six months.

The company interviewed the gamers over a three week period prior to, during and after the release of God of War III on the console, using the game as a lens to determine how important it would be in motivating purchases of the PS3.

However, the results showed that it was of little relevance, with just 12 per cent stating that one specific game would be a motivating factor in their decision.

Instead, the most motivating factors were Blu-Ray capabilities, the recent price reduction of the PS3 and the library of games currently available, which were cited by 65, 63 and 62 per cent of those questioned respectively.

62 per cent said that their decision was motivated by wanting to upgrade from the PlayStation 2, 56 per cent said they wanted the console in order to connect with friends that also had a PS3, and 50 per cent said they were interested in the PS3's other online capabilities.

49 per cent were interested in the PS3's other multimedia capabilities. 42 per cent wanted the console for online multiplayer, and 36 per cent said they were motivated by offers bundling an HDTV with the PS3.

Despite the fact that buying a specific game ranked lowest on the list of reasons for acquiring a PS3, God of War III was the most popular game named among those that did list it.

From a total of 20 PS3 titles, which also included Heavy Rain, Modern Warfare 2, LittleBigPlanet and Gran Turismo 5, 33 per cent named God of War III, followed by Final Fantasy XIII with 13 per cent.

"Not to be overlooked is that nearly half (49 per cent) cited interest in the console for its multimedia capabilities," noted Nielsen on its blog.

"This is especially interesting because the tagline for Sony's recent marketing campaign, 'It only does everything,' touts the entertainment versatility of the PS3 even as it features specific high-profile games, including GOW III, in select ads.

"Considering the data, it appears as though this marketing strategy complements consumer sentiment. While many potential PS3 buyers will see GOW III as an important asset, more often the game will be considered one of many reasons to acquire the console rather than the sole motivator."

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