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Do Polls Prove That Most Core Gamers Are Siding With PS4?

There are many PlayStation fans who will assert that the majority of so-called "hardcore" gamers side with Sony, while the Xbox platform has by far and away the largest number of casual players.

These people point to a variety of legitimate factors-

First, the Xbox platform didn't begin with the biggest variety of software, so if you were truly hardcore, you really had no choice but to own the PS2. Second, during the 360 generation, the focus on shooters and action games (despite a push into the JRPG realm early on) seemed to intensify. And while there are plenty of hardcore players of those games, those genres also tend to be the haven of the casuals. Third, Sony's exclusive software, which has always pushed the envelope in terms of cutting-edge entertainment, specifically catered to the "hardcore."

Now, all of that may or may not be true. I believe a lot of it is accurate, but maybe it isn't. However, if one checks the recent popularity polls where the PlayStation 4 faces off against the Xbox One, the theory that PlayStation is simply more "hardcore" holds some water. For instance, Sony CFO Masaru Kato said some polls indicate that 80% of potential customers prefer the PS4 over the competition. Then there was that Facebook poll that had to be stopped early, because the PS4 had 95% of the votes. Other polls have indicated something like an 8:1 or even 10:1 preference ratio in favor of Sony's new console. That's just ridiculous.

Think about it- it's completely illogical to assume the PS4 will outsell the Xbox One by that much. There's simply no chance of that happening. It may outsell Microsoft's system (which would be quite the feat in this country), but we all know the contest will still be pretty close. Nothing like the polls that say 80-90% of all the customers want the PS4. So why can't these results possibly translate to actual sales...? Well, perhaps the answer is because the only people participating in those polls are the avid, core gamers. The gamers that read game-related news every day, who check reviews and previews and get newsletters and participate in communities. Casuals don't do this. They don't care enough.

Granted, the Xbox One has gained momentum since E3, especially after Microsoft rescinded those ridiculous policies. But if polls are still saying that around three-quarters of consumers would pick the PS4, something is up. 3/4 of all new system sales this fall will not go to the PS4. So, either everyone is lying when voting (and there's no real motivation for that), or the Xbox fans just aren't voting (again, no real explanation). Maybe the only practical conclusion is that, indeed, the majority of the hardcore gaming crowd still sides with PlayStation, while the majority of the Xbox followers are likely younger and more casual.

This is not meant to be derisive or inflammatory in any way. It's merely an observation. If someone has a better explanation as to why the polls look the way they do - with an understanding that sales obviously won't reflect the results of those polls - by all means, tell me.

Tags: ps4, playstation 4, xbox one, hardcore gamers, gaming culture

8/9/2013 11:14:27 AM Ben Dutka

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Legacy Comment System (22 posts)

Friday, August 09, 2013 @ 12:10:45 PM

Yeah it's an extremely interesting topic, this. What on *earth* is going on in those polls. What is the story behind it. What's happening?

And while I usually have at least one theory behind most statistics, I am totally blank here. I just don't get it.

Maybe you are on to something, Ben. It's an interesting theory. Casual gamers obviously don't really care about those polls. They probably don't even see them. Yeah, sounds logical.

Except... Except for one thing: Where on EARTH are all those xbox fanboys who for all these years behind us have been spamming all gaming sites, forums, Facebook groups, streams... Where are they now?

When I have visited non-Playstation focused gaming sites in the past, I very typically have felt I am in the minority. And I now talk about sites that most definitely are not casual arenas. Niche sites like coop-gaming oriented sites, RPG sites, gaming video sites, or gaming developers and distributors Facebook groups. There's *always* been a ton of Xbox gamers those places.

Where did they go?!

Last edited by Beamboom on 8/9/2013 12:10:56 PM

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Friday, August 09, 2013 @ 12:20:56 PM

A very good point Beam - I remember about 12 months after the PS3 launched being a PlayStation fan on the net felt like being part of a small, out-there cultural group. These days, it feels like outside of a very small group (which, despite being quite shrill, I have some sympathy for -imagine if Sony had pulled what MS did) everyone's a PlayStation fan.

As for hardcore/casual, I'm not a fan of making a distinction in these things, but more diverse games generally sell better on PlayStation (and PC) than elsewhere, which is generally a sign that gamers on PS3/PC are looking for a bit more depth than those elsewhere, but that's not to say that you can't be a "hardcore" gamer and only on 360 (although you'd be missing out if you were far more than if you were only on PS3 or only on PC).

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Killa Tequilla
Friday, August 09, 2013 @ 12:50:37 PM

They're on IGN.

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Friday, August 09, 2013 @ 1:00:42 PM

PS4 has dominated in the IGN votes too. See:

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Friday, August 09, 2013 @ 1:01:16 PM

lol @ Axe, I felt like a hipster having PS3 in 2007.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, August 09, 2013 @ 1:24:03 PM

Beamboom: I think they're still in existence, but here's a possible explanation as to the current phenomenon-

I honestly believe that almost every single casual gamer out there - everyone maybe new to gaming and not all that hardcore about it - buys an Xbox platform. It's what they see in all the ads and let's face it, the ads are for the casual mainstream, not the hardcore. The latter don't NEED ads. They already have that knowledge (and a lot more) because they follow the industry on a daily basis.

Casuals buy Xbox. That's a blanket statement and a gross rationalization but, based on what we're seeing, I'm not sure there's any other explanation.

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Friday, August 09, 2013 @ 1:58:16 PM

Do you frequent reddit? A large amount of "Xbox fanboys" (people who self labelled as such) have openly admitted to being so put off by the Xbox One that they were moving over to the Sony camp.

To be sure, there are probably still a great deal of Microsoft loyals, but I really do believe that Microsoft made a few severe missteps when they unveiled the Xbox One, and drove away even some of their most loyal followers.

I've heard people, even after the 180 Microsoft made on their policies, say that they still wouldn't be getting an Xbox this time around due to all sorts of reasons including: fear of Microsoft slowly reintroducing some of those policies, Microsoft not actually reversing all of those policies, Microsoft not really caring about the customer base (just figured that out did they?), and being "so put off by the disconnection between Microsoft and the user base that even dissolving all their draconian policies doesn't make me confident that they know their a$$ from a hole in the ground"

I don't know, but it seems on the surface that there will be a good number of converts this generation. Time will tell though, time will tell.

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Friday, August 09, 2013 @ 3:06:42 PM

But Ben, my point is that the Xbox fans we've seen "everywhere" up until this spring are most definitely not all casuals. They've been in majority practically on every non-PS gaming site there is out there. That's not casual gamers, those are just as involved into this hobby as we are. And all those didn't just now all of a sudden disappear in thin air.

As unreal as it may sound (at least if you told me so pre the pS4-unveil), I am inclined to more believe Covertons theory here, that in fact the Xbox fans have turned their back to Microsoft.
I mean, as unlikely as it sounds it really is the only logical conclusion.

So maybe come NEXT generation we will see that only casuals are left on the Xbox platform.

Last edited by Beamboom on 8/9/2013 3:08:03 PM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, August 09, 2013 @ 5:18:40 PM

Beamboom, it's unreal because it's not possible. They didn't all jump ship; that really didn't happen. Some did, but nowhere near enough to represent the difference we're seeing in those polls.

My contention is that all the NEW players, those who don't care a lot about games but want a game system around the house, are INEVITABLY buying Xbox. And because the industry has expanded extremely rapidly in the past six or seven years, and because the vast majority of that expansion is into the mainstream (i.e., all casual gamers), AND because Xbox dominates ads and marketing, any and all new casuals get the Xbox. And they are most definitely not voting in polls.

That's really the only thing that makes sense.

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 8/9/2013 5:19:19 PM

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Saturday, August 10, 2013 @ 3:14:27 AM

I agree, it doesn't sound likely. I really don't think *any* theory in this case sound like a fully good explanation cause the polls are just way too extreme. That's what is so fascinating in this case.

Look at the worlds most sold console. The Wii. Now *that* is, I believe, a perfect example of how visible a casual user base is; They are not.
I don't think I've ever during this entire generation met someone that were a hardcore Wii gamer.

The X360 users on the other hand, right up until the PS4 unveil they've been the *exact* opposite of the Wii users. You couldn't go *anywhere* without coming across a group of die-hard x360 gamers.
And it is *that* group I talk about. That group were not in any way insignificant. Where are they now?

Last edited by Beamboom on 8/10/2013 3:17:38 AM

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Friday, August 09, 2013 @ 12:52:47 PM

When I stop in at game stop, I'm still hearing them say that the PS4 has been selling 2 to 1 in favor of the PS4. This is a stunning number, because of where I live, 15 miles from Microsoft's HQ in Redmond, WA. If Microsoft can't win over its hometown crowd, there is definitely a problem.

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Friday, August 09, 2013 @ 1:06:52 PM

New console reveals have consequences, so does the overall opinion of the last gen. People who felt chained to their 360 and had to buy 5 of them because that was where their game library was are probably more vocal now.

Also I think the xboxers might still be waiting for more information before making a decision so they aren't voting.

But I do think the hypothesis in this article is a big factor, in my limited experience at least (completely anecdotal) the Xbox-only gamers tend to hit the net just to fling some feces and aren't likely to be following the whole "hardcore" news streams that include polls while the older Playstation followers probably are. The Xbox folks I talk to tend not to really have any idea what is going on in the industry, they don't even know why something like God of War never went to 360.

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Friday, August 09, 2013 @ 3:08:50 PM

Sales won't be that extreme. During the Christmas season, Sony won't possibly have 2 PS4's in the store for every X1 in the store, so when the PS4's sell out some people will get the X1 just because it's there, and they have their heart set on something in time for Christmas. The first-of-the-year media will all be about how Microsoft didn't get clobbered as badly as predicted from the polls you're citing now, and that will be the narative for 2014 - PS4 probably sells more (assuming Sony has enough on the shelves), but X1 is close (or even ahead).

But don't knock the possibility of real sales differences, up to 2:3 ratios, or even more. *IF* the PS4 becomes the hot Christmas item you just can't find, and they start going for $700 on eBay because people want them even when there are X1's in the store...THEN you'll know it's more than just early hype. People paid as much for the Wii when it first came out as they paid for PS3's later - when they just HAD to have it for that first Christmas. It just might happen again.

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Friday, August 09, 2013 @ 3:11:33 PM

Or the xbox fans did vote but in favor of the ps4 (hoping to make Microsoft change their policies). It will be funny if it's true and clever.

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Friday, August 09, 2013 @ 3:22:09 PM

I agree that the polls probably won't accurately reflect how the sales happen.

Going off of past indicators I'm going to say the PS4 will come out on top, stateside. We've seen market leaders like Nintendo, Sega, Sony and MS change pole positions. That's nothing new. The big common between leaders appears to be cost. MS at $500 will be a detraction to everyone, especially casuals. 360 enjoyed a very low cost SKU this gen. We also observed recently how quickly the 3DS did a 180 simply by slashing it's price. Casuals do respond to that.

The one variable there's no relation for is a social one. We now have consoles with personalized friend's lists and trophies or achievements etc. There's more weight involved with a console than just it's games. It's also the community you're involved with. I see some gamers, despite maybe feeling the PS4 would be the better platform, stick with the Xbox because it's who they are.

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Friday, August 09, 2013 @ 7:36:28 PM

Don't know but anecdotal evidence seems to say so. I had yet another Xbox loyalist friend of mine tell me he's not even going to bother with Xbox this generation. PS4 all the way.

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Friday, August 09, 2013 @ 7:54:07 PM

Trying to convince the one guy in my gaming circle that actually wanted a One to take the plunge on the new Xbox. No dice, he doesn't know anyone that's getting it either other than some online COD pals on the 360. I might miss out on Remedy's game :(
Na, at least someone has get it lol

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Saturday, August 10, 2013 @ 12:50:56 AM

Have to say polls are just numbers and numbers can be... lopsided. Its similar to voting. Yep, someone wins the majority (hopefully) of the votes. BUT the that could be only 70% of the populace voting and the others could not be bothered. Well, voting political is a diff animal but the likeness is there.

I visit forums and such and see whats being said. Its bizarre because its opposite to what the polls suggest or whats is suggested in this article. Could be most gamers, possibly the consisting mostly of Xbox and/or PC people, just don't care about the polls. Its been a rollercoaster for them. But it has not stopped them from being verbal on the forums and other social networks.

I do worry Sony is not going to bring out the gaming guns and start showing us impressive games for launch but only games we will see in 1 to 2 years. Is Sony spending the money this time round for games? Who knows? MS looks like they are although I would say they have been pouring money in to their online entertainment features as well.

I am starting to get the same feeling I had after the launch of the PS3. A gut feeling that Xbox maybe full of surprises. Sony needs to step it up.

Keep Playing!

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Saturday, August 10, 2013 @ 3:04:51 AM

Preorders for Call of Duty on the PS4 are trouncing the Xbox1 -and most COD players would be considered casual gamers, no?

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Saturday, August 10, 2013 @ 3:14:17 AM

Eeeeeh, I'd call them twitch gamers before casual.

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Saturday, August 10, 2013 @ 3:30:45 AM

Yeah agree with Jawk, COD gamers should definitely not by default be called casual unless that term has been completely redefined lately.
There's nothing casual with playing a game like they play COD.

Last edited by Beamboom on 8/10/2013 3:31:13 AM

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Saturday, August 10, 2013 @ 4:02:03 AM

yea well i guess most xbox user just don't seem to care aye or maybe they do idk.

happy gaming =)

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