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A new survey report commissioned by IHS and GamesIndustry.biz measured purchasing intent and interest for the current generation consoles, the Xbox One, the PlayStation 4 and the Wii U. What the report uncovered was rather fascinating.
Nearly a thousand hardcore gamers took part in the test, which is the usual number for data sampling for research polls, surveys or market data relating to this kind of material. According to the results in the GI.biz survey, the Wii U was the one console that saw a meteoric rise in interest from the gaming community following Nintendo's E3 showcase.
The survey measured interested both before and after E3, with the dark blue bar representing purchasing intent before E3 and the light blue bar representing purchasing intent after E3. Funnily enough, the green bar was the market research target based on what they estimated the purchasing intent would look like following survey. However, as you can see, the research target was way off for the Wii U.
The target was just so, so, so far off. The PlayStation 4 actually had less interest from people willing to buy the system coming off their E3 press conference than they did before the press conference aired. It's interesting seeing a small bit of the populace wane on the PS4 after E3.
The other two systems saw an opposite trend. The Xbox One saw a meager gain in potential buying interest, mostly to do with the cheaper, kinect-less bundle I imagine... and the showcase of a few games due for release in the fall.
The one system that really stood out amongst the three was the Wii U, which saw a massive spike following Nintendo's E3 Direct. The combination of the Direct with the Treehouse showcase – opposite of the other two systems, Nintendo let many showfloor participants actually play games currently in development for the Wii U, in real-time – and the massively popular Super Smash Bros. invitational managed to get many gamers hyped and excited for the future of the Wii U.
What the system lacks in raw horsepower it makes up for it with a unique, proprietary design centered around fun games. Nintendo's positioning with the system and release of Mario Kart 8 has resulted in a 233% sales spike in the U.S., and a 479% software sales spike in the U.K.
According to the report...
"Although there are other exclusive titles coming in 2014 or already available," ..."none hold the influence that these leading titles have in terms of selling console hardware, with the exception of Mario Kart 8 for Wii U. As a result, the success of console sales this holiday shopping season will depend more heavily on the total value and content proposition including exclusive content offered by multi-platform games rather than a single, very influential system-selling exclusive. This factor will impact the marketing strategies of the platform holders as we move into 2014's main shopping season."
Apparently they know very little about Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U. The game is already being pegged to be the biggest selling console exclusive this holiday season, even potentially surpassing Halo: The Master Chief Collection.
As much as it may pain people to admit it, the Wii U actually has the strongest exclusive line-up for the fall season, especially with the introduction of the Amiibo figurines that are bound to catch fire with the casual audience. While I doubt that the Wii U will surpass the PlayStation 4 anytime soon (if at all) it's quite obvious that they're positioned quite well to maintain second place so long as they keep up the momentum they garnered from E3.