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Granted, the Xbox One has gained momentum since E3, especially after Microsoft rescinded those ridiculous policies.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.
8/9/2013 11:14:27 AM Ben Dutka