At 10 million units sold in nine months, Sony’s PlayStation 4 has gotten off to a red hot start, outpacing Microsoft’s Xbox One and even Sony’s own expectations. But why is the console selling so well? Even Sony’s worldwide studios president Shuhei Yoshida doesn’t have a definitive answer.
But now, a new Nielsen study reveals that the secret to the PS4’s early success could be that the console may be stealing players from Microsoft and Nintendo.
According to data from an April Nielsen study provided to Re/code, 31 percent of PS4 owners did not own the PlayStation 3, but did have an Xbox 360 or Wii. Seventeen percent of PS4 owners did not own any console of the last generation, according to the data. As Re/code points out, this data suggests that gamers aren’t as truly loyal as comments on the Internet would have you believe.
One major potential limitation of the Nielsen study, however, is that it asked consumers to specify which console(s) they currently owned, not any systems they owned in the past. As a result, people who sold their PS3 to GameStop (or to a friend) to buy a PS4 would have been included in the study as someone who did not own a PS3.
“Assuming that most people didn’t do that, though, the numbers underscore why launching at a $100 lower price point than the rival Xbox One was so beneficial for Sony,” writes Re/code’s Eric Johnson.
The PS4 and Xbox One are now sold for the same price: $399 (though Xbox One fans can also buy a $500 bundle that comes with Kinect). The Wii U, meanwhile, sells for $300.
|Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch|