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Ownership of multiple gaming systems and its impact on play and purchase behavior is top-of-mind for most game publishers.
PC/CONSOLE/MOBILE GAMES Full House: The Reasons Behind and Consequences of Multiple Console Ownership Lead Analyst Courtney Johnson Contributing Analysts Marissa Gluck Brenton Lyle An Interpret Syndicated Research Service subscription is $10,000 per year and includes twelve research reports and unlimited analyst inquiry. For subscription inquiries, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (310) 255-0590. Reproduction by any method or unauthorized circulation is strictly prohibited. Interpret’s syndicated research reports are intended for the sole use of clients. All opinions and projections are based on Interpret’s judgment at the time of publication and are subject to change. Published February 2010. © 2010 Interpret, LLC Full House: The Reasons Behind and Consequences of Multiple Console Ownership Catalyst: Ownership of multiple gaming systems and its impact on play and purchase behavior is top-of- mind for most game publishers. Core questions: • How prevalent are multi-console households? • Who, specifically, owns which combinations of consoles? • Do console ownership groups inform and guide genre preference, thereby impacting game development and marketing? Interpret Insight As the number of multi-console households increases, driven by the dearth of new consoles in the marketplace, publishers and retailers need to align their development and marketing strategies with the unique demographic and genre preference differences across console-ownership combinations. Multi- console ownership penetration is up overall, particularly among PS3-owning groups (up 230 percent in the case of the Xbox 360/PS3 combination, according to Interpret’s New Media Measure). Content producers and distributors should pay particular attention to this burgeoning PS3-owning population, which is increasingly diversified across hardcore and casual gamers. Also noteworthy is the Wii-owning group, with its distinctive motion-control interface and unique demographic base (10–20 percent more heavily female than other ownership groups). (Figure 1) The Ascent of the Multi-Console Household Over the past year, the size of the current-generation console-owning population comprised of households containing only one of the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3/Wii set has dropped 11 percent, according to New Media Measure. Simultaneously, the market has seen a marked increase in households owning multiple current-gen systems (fig. 1). This is not surprising, given the absence of new consoles and the continued atomization of the PC-gaming market into casual, social, and niche-hardcore games. The vast majority of these multi-console households (76 percent) own exactly two of the consoles in question, but the contingent of those who own all three increased over the past year by 75 percent, to 7.1 million (or 8 percent of current-gen console owners). The percentage of homes that own all three major consoles outnumbers households owning the Xbox 360/PS3 combination (5.3 million) and households owning the PS3/Wii combination (6.5 million). The largest multi-console segment is the Xbox 360/Wii permutation, at 11 million households, or 12 percent of overall current-gen ownership penetration. Looking at consumers who own only one console, the largest segment consists of owners of the Wii (30.3 million households, or 33 percent), the system that has consistently proven to be most broadly appealing to consumers. (Figure 2) Households that own just a PS3 or
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