Sony PlayStation 3 set to win console wars this christmas

A new study from Kelkoo and GameVision Europe predicts that the latest innovations in motion gaming from Sony will make the PS3 the biggest selling console this Christmas, accounting for 41%[1] of all consoles sold[2] 

·         Amongst UK gamers today, it is estimated that 44% (6.9 million) own a Wii, 34% (5.3 million) own an Xbox 360 and 22% (3.4 million) own a PlayStation 3[3]

·         Research suggests that UK consumers are planning to buy 1.8 million new game consoles by Christmas, spending £379 million in total – with 41% (750,000 units) of overall sales  expected to be driven by the PS3[4] 

·         Nintendo Wii has been the number one best-selling console since December 2007 but looks set to lose its crown this year claiming just 36% of total sales (650,000 units) in the run up to Christmas, 5% or 100,000 units less than the PS3[4]

·         At present, there are around 8.7 million Xbox 360 and PS3 consoles in the UK[3], with 1.6 million[5] expected to be upgraded with motion sensing technology by Christmas as consumers invest in a Kinect for the Xbox 360 (700,000), or a PlayStation Move (850,000) at a cost of £126 million[4]

·         In total, an estimated 2.2 million consumers will buy into motion gaming this Christmas through the purchase of either a PS3 or Xbox 360 bundle package, or standalone accessories[6]

·         Consumers could spend a total of £504 million on consoles and peripherals in the run-up to Christmas if they shop online, £25 million less than the total cost of these same items if bought on the high street[4]

The much awaited launch of the Xbox Kinect next Wednesday is expected to re-ignite the console wars as consumers get ready to ‘Move’ and ‘Kinect’ following the new motion gaming innovations brought to them courtesy of PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Today’s research from shopping comparison website Kelkoo, conducted by GameVision Europe, predicts that these product launches will entice almost 1.8 million consumers in the UK to purchase a new console in the run-up to Christmas, spending a total of £379 million[4]. In addition, the PlayStation 3 (PS3) is set to steal the Nintendo Wii’s crown as the best-selling games console this Christmas, accounting for 41% (750,000) of total sales, while the Wii is expected to account for just over a third 36% (650,000)[4].

The Wii currently holds a 44% (6.9 million) market share in the UK, followed by the Xbox 360 at 34% (5.3 million), and the PS3 at 22% (3.4 million)[3]. However, while the PS3 is projected to sell the highest number of consoles this Christmas, with forecasts up 21% on 2009 (618,000)[8], it will still have the lowest market share behind the Xbox 360. In total, these three gaming consoles have enjoyed combined worldwide sales of 155 million units since their individual launch dates[9].

By Christmas, it is anticipated that almost one in five (18% or 1.6 million)[5] existing Xbox 360 or PS3 consoles will be upgraded with corresponding Kinect or Move peripherals, at a cost to consumers of £126 million[4]. PlayStation Move’s early launch in September is set to pay dividends with its new motion controller predicted to hit sales of 850,000 by the end of the year; a relatively small advantage on the Kinect motion sensor for the Xbox 360, which is projected to enjoy sales of 700,000. This is quite a feat for Microsoft’s Xbox, as the Kinect costs more than double the price of the basic Sony PlayStation Move starter pack (£124.99 vs. £44.99[10]), and is due to launch over two months later on 10th November 2010. Much of Microsoft’s success in relation to accessory sales can be attributed to the additional number of Xbox 360 consoles owned in the UK, currently 5.3 million compared to Sony PS3’s 3.4 million[3]. Furthermore, despite the Kinect’s later launch date, 410,000 Xbox 360 consoles are expected to be sold by Christmas, 32% of which will be Kinect bundle packages[11].

In total, an estimated 2.2 million[6] consumers will spend over £302 million[7] to join the motion gaming revolution this Christmas through the purchase of either a PS3 or Xbox 360 bundle package, or through standalone accessories.

Video games journalist and broadcaster Johnny Minkley, comments: “Motion control gaming was introduced to the UK in December 2006 with the Nintendo Wii and has since completely transformed the games market. The console’s phenomenal success was not just down to its revolutionary technology, low price and brilliant marketing – it was also due to innovative, fun titles which appealed to people of all ages. Four years on, both Sony and Microsoft are now tapping into the popularity of motion gaming, with their own unique takes on the phenomenon.

“There’s no doubt that the Sony PlayStation Move and Xbox Kinect are more technologically advanced than the Wii and will prove highly tempting to those in search of the ‘next big thing’. However, reaching the Wii’s level of success will not happen overnight. It is dependent on mass-appeal titles, which capture the imagination of casual gamers alongside a steady supply of blockbusters to draw in hardcore gamers. With so many hardware permutations and price options, the choice for consumers has never been wider or more difficult.”

Based on value for money, Wii continues to offer Christmas shoppers the best entry level motion gaming experience at just £160 online, 74% cheaper than the PS3 Move package at £278, and 56% less than the Xbox 360 Kinect package at £250. However, one in three savvy shoppers (33%) are planning to wait in the hope of post Christmas price reductions on the Move and the Kinect before committing to purchase them[1]. In the meantime, consumers keen to get their hands on the best deals can make immediate savings of up to 11% on games consoles and accessories by shopping online. For example, the Nintendo Wii can be purchased for £160 online, £20 or 11% cheaper than the RRP at £180.

Kelkoo’s Top Tips when Buying a Games Console:

·         Pre-ordering: This is common practice for gamers but it’s important to make sure that the retailer you place your order with can guarantee that the order price will remain the same, even if suppliers or manufacturers increase theirs.

·         Payment: When you pre-order, most online retailers will not take the payment until the item has been released. However, if you pre-order in store, some retailers will ask for a non-refundable deposit.

·         Stock levels: We expect many gamers to buy Kinects and Sony PlayStation Moves when the more sophisticated games launch after Christmas. With so many people planning to do this, there is no guarantee that stock levels will meet demand and you may have to wait for new stock to arrive.

·         VAT Increase: If you are planning to buy a new console in January, the price is very likely to go up with VAT. For example, a Sony PlayStation 3 & Move bundle (250GB) will go up from £285 on the high street to £291.

·         Loyalty Schemes: If you are an avid gamer, look out for loyalty schemes which will offer you discounts on your next gaming purchase. For example, Game offers 2.5% of your order value and sometimes doubles this reward for pre-orders. These points can then be spent on future purchases.

·         Bundles: If you’re planning to get a PS3 or Xbox 360 and buy the new peripherals at a later date, it might be worth making a bigger investment upfront. For example, you can buy an Xbox 360 Kinect bundle for £250, separately this would cost £280. Every retailer offers different bundles so make sure you shop around to get the best bundle for your money.

·         Go Online: By shopping online you can currently save anything up to 11% on your Christmas console so it’s worth doing your homework.


About gamesmediapro

We are an independent cyberzine dedicated to bringing the very latest in news, reviews and interviews from the Games Industry
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