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While the Xbox 360 is already available and seems to be popular among end-users, loads of customers in the U.S. anticipate the PlayStation 3. Furthermore, the latter seems to be more popular compared to the Xbox 360 among gamers in the USA, according to a research from NPD Group.

“When it comes to next-generation home video game console systems, Sony’s PlayStation 3 has the highest awareness, familiarity and purchase intent among total respondents, gamers and non-gamers, followed by Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Nintendo’s Revolution,” reads NPD’s most recent report, “Next Generation Console Study.

According to the report, brand loyalty appears to be a leading factor driving purchase intent, illustrated by the fact that a higher percentage of those interested in purchasing each next- generation system own the current generation system from the same manufacturer.

The study also finds that the majority of current generation system owners who are very or somewhat likely to buy a new system plan on continuing to play with the system they currently own and more than half (58%) will continue purchasing games for the system they currently own. Given that the install base of the PlayStation 2 is much larger compared to the Xbox, the PlayStation 3 has potential to grab higher market share compared to the Xbox 360.

Approximately half of all those who are very or somewhat likely to purchase each system said they are willing to spend between $200 and $299, which is in-line with the price points of current generation systems during and post-launch but, not surprisingly, price is the most common factor driving purchase timing, with approximately one-third of those interested in buying each new system claiming they will buy it when it goes on sale, or when the price drops.

The results and analysis presented in this report are based on a sample of approximately 15000 respondents from NPD’s online consumer panel and are balanced to be representative of total individuals ages 13 to 44 in the U.S based on Census data.

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