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Which video game console do you like to play?


To coincide with the launch of Nintendo’s Wii U, released in the US on November 18, Valued Opinions asked 2,444 Americans about their favourite games consoles and genre of video game.

Valued Opinions conducts paid online surveys for market research purposes, getting people from all round the world to give their views on a host of different subjects. Its recent survey revealed that for the 63% of respondents that liked playing video games, there were 3 firm favourites: the Nintendo Wii, with 22% of the overall vote followed by the Microsoft XBox (16%) and then the Sony PlayStation 3 (14%).

Despite being far less sophisticated in many respects than its close rivals, the Nintendo Wii was the clear favourite, reflecting the fact that it’s currently the best-selling console on the market. Why? Probably because the Wii has a more far-reaching appeal, with all manner of games to suit different age groups and different tastes. In the Valued Opinions survey, it gets a far higher proportion of the female vote than the male (26%, next to just 16%).

Men, it seems, are more likely to prefer the Xbox and the Play Station 3, and taking their votes alone, the competition between the two is extremely close: the PS3 gains the edge, with 20% compared to the Xbox’s 19%. Which is the better of the two? Debate over this question is fierce. Fans on both sides are equally passionate in their preference for one or the other, and perhaps one of the most important factors determining the favourite console is their taste in games, many of which are exclusive for one or the other.

The Valued Opinions survey found that when it comes to the favourite video game genre, tastes were pretty evenly spread. The top 3 choices, each with around 11% of the vote, were action, sport and strategy, but adventure, role-play and shoot ‘em up weren’t too far behind.

But it’s not just about the games. The survey also revealed that the Xbox was significantly more popular with under 21s, getting 30% of their vote- almost twice that of the PS 3, which was more popular with respondents at the older end of the spectrum. This is probably at least in part because the PS3 is more compatible with other devices and doubles as a media centre.

This versatility is, it would seem where technology is heading. Nintendo’s new generation Wii U is revolutionary: its graphics power is comparable to the Xbox 360, but it also goes much further than the PS 3 in being a single, wireless device that does a bit of everything. With a large, tablet-style touchscreen display, two analogue sticks, a directional pad, 8 input buttons, a front-facing camera and a NFC sensor, it can offer ‘a combination of games, entertainment, online connectivity and social activity.’

Since its launch, the Wii U has flown off the shelves fast. Already, retailers such as Best Buy, Wal-Mart and GameStop are selling out of the pre-order consoles, meaning many fans will be unlikely to get their hands on one before Christmas. The Wii U’s attractive retail price of $380 meant some savvy buyers have taken advantage of the stock-shortage, buying them up to sell straight away on eBay and Amazon at a far higher price ($500+).

Which brings us to the final question of the Valued Opinions survey: how much are people willing to spend on video games? Not very much, it seems. A third isn’t into games consoles enough to spend anything at all, 17% would only spend under $150 and around a third would spend between $150-$300. Only 13% said they’d splurge the $300-$500 necessary to buy one of the 3 most popular consoles. This unwillingness to part with cash is understandable, and it makes Nintendo’s decision to sell the new Wii U at a loss (before all the add-ons) seem like a very sensible move.


This article has been written by a third party. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Research Now or its Valued Opinions™ panel. The statistics referred to in this article were collected from pre-screener questions directed to members of Research Now’s Valued Opinions panel during November 2012. The information is presented without warranty, express or implied.