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As much as it's touted throughout gaming communities that gameplay is king (and it is) graphics still matter quite a bit when making a decision on whether or not a game is worth buying. In fact, 75% of gamers feel that graphics do play a part in their decision to purchase a new title.
According to a new Consumer Electronics Association market research survey from the membership section, we learn a ton of new details about playing and buying habits of the core gaming audience, as well as some bits about mobile gaming.
Putting to rest claims that mobiles will “take over the living room consoles”, it was revealed in the report that despite 64% of gamers owning a tablet or smartphone device with gaming capabilities, only one in ten gamers say that a mobile device is their primary device used for gaming. Android topped out with 51% of the market share, followed by iOS with 41% and Windows with 6%.
The more intriguing numbers come into play when we start looking at the eighth-gen consoles. According to CEA's study more than 11% of online gamers own a PlayStation 4 while 8% own an Xbox One. It's a somewhat weird statistic but it at least gives some insight into the way the numbers game plays out with more than just the brick and mortar gamer.
Speaking of which, the data revealed that 57% of PlayStation 4 gamers surveyed have purchased their games digitally over those who picked picked up their titles from physical outlets. The Xbox One sees 62% of those surveyed purchasing digital over physical, showing that those who currently own an Xbox One definitely believed in Microsoft's original vision. Interestingly enough, the Xbox 360's digital attachment rate was a very low 37%. It definitely seems to correspond with the numbers that Xbox 360 gamers aren't entirely quick to jump in on the Xbox One's digital bandwagon, with 59% of Xbox 360 owners still sitting on the fence about making the leap into eighth-gen gaming.
Kevin Tillmann, senior research analyst, CEA commented about the data regarding the new-gen consoles, saying...
“The gaming industry has been abuzz for months with sizzling sales figures for the eighth-generation consoles, as well as record-breaking releases of games,” … “Rather than simply competing with one another, the eighth-generation consoles are driving gaming sales and enthusiasm across the board. The industry remains a two-headed beast – comprised of traditional game consoles and portable connected devices like smartphones and tablets – but it is certainly stronger than ever.”
Unsurprisingly enough, graphics still play a pretty big part in purchasing titles for home consoles, but game quality still comes out as king with 89% of gamers saying that a game has to be quality-made to get them to make the dive. 79% responded that they would purchase a game based on the price of the game, showing that some games could make or break their presence on the market based on price (the first thing that comes to mind is a lot of gamers may be purchase-reticent about Battlefield: Hardline if it carries a $60 price point since there's a lot of chatter from the community that the game feels like a Battlefield 4 expansion).
77% of gamers said they would be inclined to purchase a game based on its ease of use. This seems fitting when applied to the warm, niche sales for games like real-time strategy titles or 4X space simulators.
76% of gamers actually felt that a purchase of a game for a system they didn't own would boil down to the price of the system, and 75% of gamers said that graphics do determine whether or not they're likely to purchase a game. That may seem a little disingenuous as I'm pretty sure that “graphics” actually means “aesthetics”, given that Minecraft has miserable graphics from a technical standpoint but has a rather enchanting and welcoming visual aesthetic, and Minecraft is one of the best selling games of all time.
Finally, 54% of gamers say that they find out about titles from friends, family or co-workers (the trusty 'ole word of mouth marketing). 33% of the survey participants said they learn about and make decisions to purchase games based on retailer websites such as GameSpot or GAME. 31% of the survey participants said that they sometimes learn about games from television commercials.
Surprisingly (or not) Only 30% of gamers who purchase digital or physical copies say that they learn about games and make purchasing decisions based on enthusiast gaming websites, like this one or IGN, etc. This statistic mirrors another completely separate survey that was conducted regarding mobile gaming trends where, once again, one-third or 33% of the participants said that they use gaming news websites to learn about video games. I guess that explains why so many gaming sites are shutting down these days?
You can learn more about the stats and study by visiting the official CEA website.