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Current Gaming System Owner Brand Loyalty

A new survey has shown that despite efforts by video game console manufacturers to expand their reach to non-gamers, interest in next-generation consoles is largely centered among those who are current console gamers.

When ABI Research surveyed 1725 consumers about their interest in buying a new game console, a total of 18 percent said they were likely to buy one in the coming year, compared with 28 percent of active gamers. Interest rose even more dramatically when asking those who currently play on a console, with 42 percent of PlayStation 2 owners, 55 percent of Xbox owners and 54 percent of GameCube owners indicating they were likely to buy a new console.

"Not surprisingly, the interest in the new generation of consoles grows significantly among the already converted," says research director Michael Wolf. "While we think that the market of console owners will likely expand beyond its current bases, we believe that the market for the next 1 to 2 years will be driven by current console owners upgrading to the new generation."

While the overall percentage of PlayStation 2 owners showing interest in a next-generation console today was lower than that of other console owners, their intensity of loyalty to Sony products was higher when considering a next generation purchase. The research showed 60 percent of those who own a PS2 and are considering a new console likely to buy a PS3, which exceeded the 45 percent of Xbox owners looking to buy an Xbox 360 and 46 percent of GameCube owners looking to buy a Wii.

"We believe that Sony's much larger installed base combined with higher loyalty among current generation owners could translate into significant gains for them if they can, in fact, convert these prospective owners" said Wolf. "Microsoft and Nintendo, while still seeing strong overall loyalty, do not enjoy the same intensity."

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