Even with Sony’s Big “Move” and Gamers Expecting Microsoft’s “Natal,” Nintendo’s Wii Still Brings Game

Recent headlines about the coming eclipse of the Nintendo Wii may be premature – or at least a bit overplayed

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

San Francisco, CA – New survey data from Ipsos shows that the Nintendo Wii has maintained strong ‘share-of-mind’ among those in the market to buy gaming devices. The survey results, conducted among 1,000+ U.S. gamers age 18+, were collected in February on the heels of the 2009 holiday season (and before the release of the iPad).

Among adults gaming at least 1 to 2 hours per week, one in three (35%) reported owning and regularly using a Wii, while 18% regularly use an Xbox 360, and 15% regularly use a PS3 (its PS2 predecessor remains strong, with 29% using it regularly for gaming). Wii use is particularly popular among females (41%) and adults with kids (48%), confirming the Wii’s family-friendly profile. Perhaps less well-known is the fact that parents also are particularly active Xbox 360 and PS3 players (23% and 20%, respectively), again among those who game at least 1 to 2 hours per week. The family-friendly leaning for the three major consoles underscores the degree to which they are now vying to be the family entertainment hub in many American households.

Of more timely significance among these adult gamers – surveyed soon after the 2009 holiday season – was their input on recent and planned gaming device purchases. On that score, Wii remained on top among consoles, with 12% of respondents reporting a past-6-months purchase, higher than for PS3 (6%) or Xbox 360 (4%). In a timely sign of how consumer gaming is evolving, respondents were almost as likely (3% each) to have bought an iPhone or an iPod/iPod Touch in the past 6 months, with gaming specifically in mind as a – if not the – key use for it.

Likewise, 11% of respondents planned to buy (or at least seriously considered buying) a Wii in the next 6 months, indicating sustained popular interest in the Wii, at least for the time being. Twice as many respondents reported plans to buy a PS3 as an Xbox 360 in the next 6 months (8% and 4% respectively), suggesting an uptick in PS3 momentum. Looking ahead 6 months, 4% planned to buy/consider an iPhone, and 3% an iPod/iPod Touch, again with gaming in mind as a key use for these Apple devices.

“The recent Sony announcement of its ‘Move’ motion controller for the fall ups the ante on both the Wii and the Xbox. As we see the broader Sony enterprise touting high-def – and soon, 3D – entertainment experiences, along with Microsoft’s ever-present market impact and footprint, the Wii is definitely in for a fight,” says Todd Board, Senior Vice President with Ipsos OTX MediaCT. “At a time when such gaming consoles are evolving into cross-media entertainment devices, they are having to fight harder than ever to distinguish themselves as the preferred console to buy next. As they add features like Netflix, they add competitors to some extent as well, with the paradoxical result that they may look more alike to some consumers.”

Board concludes, “The Wii still has a lot of gamers who enjoy using it, and more who want to join the Wii nation – it’s not falling off a cliff by any means. That said, the Wii increasingly runs the risk, at least here in the U.S., of being end-run by Sony and Microsoft. Disruptors like Netflix and Apple (including the iPad) can have unintended impacts on how U.S. gamers view the broader entertainment ecosystem, and where these consoles fit. It isn’t always apparent that this ripple effect is fully understood or appreciated in Tokyo.”


Data were sourced from a February 2010 Ipsos Mediator online survey of adults playing videogames at least 1-2 hours per week, with results balanced to reflect a representative sample of these gamers age 18+.

To learn more about Mediator, please visit: http://www.ipsos.com/mediact/sites/ipsos.com.mediact/files/pdf/ipsos_mediact_mediator_usa.pdf

To learn more about survey results, please register for our May 12th webinar at http://www.ipsos-na.com/knowledge-ideas/events/video-gamer-webinar/

For more information on this news release and Ipsos travel research, please contact:
Todd Board
Senior Vice President
Ipsos OTX MediaCT
(415) 597-4013

About Ipsos OTX MediaCT

Ipsos OTX MediaCT is the market research specialization within Ipsos built to reach, engage and more effectively understand today’s digitally-driven consumer in the fast moving media, content and technology space. By integrating new technologies and immersive techniques with extensive traditional research experience, Ipsos OTX MediaCT’s market leading research solutions help clients better understand media and technology consumption, evaluate content, monitor the value of brands and provide guidance for successful innovation. The Ipsos OTX MediaCT approach results in deeper and more profound consumer insights that allow companies to maximize their return on investment.

To learn more, please visit www.ipsos-na.com/media.

About Ipsos

Ipsos is a leading global survey-based market research company, owned and managed by research professionals. Ipsos helps interpret, simulate, and anticipate the needs and responses of consumers, customers, and citizens around the world.

Member companies assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media. They measure public opinion around the globe.

Ipsos member companies offer expertise in advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, and public affairs research, as well as forecasting, modeling, and consulting. Ipsos has a full line of custom, syndicated, omnibus, panel, and online research products and services, guided by industry experts and bolstered by advanced analytics and methodologies. The company was founded in 1975 and has been publicly traded since 1999.

In 2009, Ipsos generated global revenues of €943.7 million ($1.31 billion U.S.).

Visit www.ipsos.com to learn more about Ipsos' offerings and capabilities

Even with Sony’s Big “Move” and Gamers Expecting Microsoft’s “Natal,” 
Nintendo’s Wii Still Brings Game

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Todd Board
Senior Vice President / Vice-président sénior
Ipsos MediaCT