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Japanese Gamers Side With PS3

The Tokyo Game Show had several highlights, but perhaps the biggest one didn't arrive until the results of a Famitsu survey arrived. We recently reported on the results of a Japanese developers survey, where it was evident the Nintendo Wii intrigued the devs most. But when it comes to the gaming public, it's a slightly different story.

The following results came from around 4,000 show attendees, with between 2,500 and 3,000 answering every question.

First on the list was the system price, and remember we just posted a story on U.S. consumers being prepared to pay the PS3 system price. For the Xbox 360 Core System, which launches in Japan on November 2 for 29,800 yen, 65% of those surveyed consider it a "fair" price, 25.2% think it's pricey, and 9.8% believe it's cheap. For the Wii, 60.5% feel the price is just right, 25.9% consider it cheap, and 13.6% think it's expensive.

And then we come to the PS3, which needed two answers; one for each model. 56.5% believe the 49.800 yen price tag for the 20GB model is pricey, 35.7% feel it's just right, and 7.8% think it's cheap. For the 60GB model (which will have an open retail price on launch day), 64.6% expect the actual retail price to be extremely high, 20.1% expect it to be just right, and 15.3% believe it will be cheap. And while these results are telling, the key lies in which of these systems they actually plan to purchase...

For the Xbox 360 Core, 66.4% said they currently have no plans for a purchase, 1.4% said they'd buy it on launch day, 0.8% hope to get one as a Christmas gift, 15.1% said they'd buy it if "the appropriate software came out," and 16.3% said they'd only purchase it if they had money to spare. For the PS3, 36.2% said they currently had no plans to buy the system, 10.5% said they'd buy it at launch, 0.8% said they were hoping to get one as a Christmas gift, 26.4% said they'd buy a PS3 if the appropriate software released, and 26.1% said they'd make the purchase when they had money to spare. For the Wii, 33.0% said they don't plan to buy the system at this time, 17.8% plan to buy it at launch, 1.8% want to receive it as a Christmas gift, 26.5% will make the purchase when the appropriate software is available, and 20.9% who said they'd but it when they have money to spare.

In terms of games, there weren't many surprises. For the 360, Blue Dragon was the most popular, followed by Gundam: Operation Troy, Lost Odyssey, Dead or Alive Xtreme 2, Earth Self-Defense Force 3, Sonic the Hedgehog, Culdcept Saga, Winning Eleven, Lost Planet, and Onechanbara VorteX. For the PS3, it was all about Metal Gear Solid 4, and then came Gundam Target in Sight, Devil May Cry 4, Gran Turismo HD, Hot Shots Golf 5, Armored Core 4, Virtua Fighter 5, Ridge Racer 7, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Genji: Days of the Blade. For the Wii, Zelda was easily the biggest game, followed by Smash Bros. X, Super Mario Galaxy, Fire Emblem, Animal Crossing, Made in Wario, Kirby, Mario Party 8, Metroid Prime 3, and Brain Age Academy.

Famitsu than asked an all-encompassing game question, which asked what game - over all platforms - the fans were looking forward to. In this category, Metal Gear Solid 4 won the popular vote; it beat out Final Fantasy XIII, Zelda: Twilight Princess, Blue Dragon, and Smash Bros. X. But while a Konami game may have taken top honors here, attendees selected Nintendo as the company that most holds their interest. Following on down the list, show-goers selected Square-Enix, Konami, Capcom, and Bandai-Namco Games.

And finally, we come to the big question: which next-generation system are players most looking forward to? Here's where the overall preference comes to light: 58.3% selected the PS3 as the next-gen system they most want, 33.8% picked the Wii, and 7.9% went with the Xbox 360. However, it's worth mentioning that the Wii didn't have a big presence at TGS, and really didn't have enough of an impact to sway voters.

Still, combined with the report that U.S. consumers aren't fazed by the PS3's price tag, Sony will likely take these results as a positive.

10/12/2006 Ben Dutka

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