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OTX: Xbox 360 Gamers Defecting To PS3 For Holiday Sequels?
OTX: Xbox 360 Gamers Defecting To PS3 For Holiday Sequels?
November 4, 2009 | By Leigh Alexander

November 4, 2009 | By Leigh Alexander
More: Console/PC

It's coming time for the Holiday launches of anticipated multiplatform sequels -- and new data provided to Gamasutra by OTX's GamePlan Insights finds that many sequel-buyers might be switching platforms, defecting from Xbox 360 to PlayStation 3 for more than one major release.

In addition to identifying the cash-strapped consumer's most-wanted games for the holiday season, GamePlan Insights previously examined "franchise lineage," or gamer intent to purchase sequels to favorite games.

According to OTX analyst Nick Williams, data on franchise lineage highlights an interesting trend between the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 SKUs for Modern Warfare 2 and Assassin's Creed 2, the two top-ranking titles on the latest purchase intent charts -- and also two of the titles with the strongest franchise lineage.

OTX data shows that 15 percent of those who plan to buy the PS3 version of Assassin's Creed 2 own the Xbox 360 version of the original, while only 7 percent of those who plan to buy the Xbox 360 version own the original game on PS3.

The data highlights a shift, at least among fans of Assassin's Creed, in favor of the PS3 -- a "sizable portion," according to Williams, of players who plan a console defection for the second installment.

Moreover, the trend for Modern Warfare 2 is the same, according to OTX. "The PS3 seems poised to shift the ratio of Xbox 360 to PS3 sales for most major multi-platform releases in its favor among dual owners," Williams tells us.

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siu lung lee
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More alarming is the fact that the original Assassin's Creed likely sold better on the Xbox 360. This means that not only are defectors from the 360 version have a higher percentage, but likely a significantly higher number as well.

I wonder what the reason for the shift is, and if this affects other games? MW2 seems to have 3 times the number of pre-orders as the PS3 and has a higher percentage of unit sales (assuming pre-orders mean sales) to install base in the U.S. Check for the numbers.

James Hogan
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Most likely due to the fact that a lot of gamers just picked up PS3's due to the price cut and between the two, they would rather get games for their new system... new car sheen and all.

Sid Krishna
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I wish someone from Microsoft would be reading this. A big contributor to my buying all my games for the PS3 only in the last year is because I can get a demo on the PS3 as soon as its out instead of waiting a week or 10 days like some second-class citizen on xbox live with my silver account. I don't need gold as I only play single-player and don't have time for multiplayer, why then should I have to be penalized? Game demos are marketing for the game so why should access to it be restricted?

Another contributor is the really bad taste the xbox 360 defect rate and reading that Microsoft knowingly released a defective model left me with. Sure there is a long warranty now, but i've gone through 4 consoles so far and the associated hassle since launch.

Geoff Nordmeyer
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One big change is neither the original Assassins Creed or Modern Warfare had trophies on the PS3.

Sid Krishna
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I forgot to add: One play through of a demo is enough for me to make a purchasing decision. If I've played it first on my PS3 I'm not going to play it again on my xbox 360. If I'm happy with the game and the way the demo performs (which is consistent between both platforms these days) on my PS3 I buy it for the PS3. So the decision to purchase for the PS3 is made before Microsoft had a chance to compete. The fact that I can dabble in the multiplayer if I feel like for free on PS3 is just icing on the cake. I'm sure there are a lot of dual-system owners in my situation making similar decisions. Maybe they make more money from people subscribing to gold for the benefits compared to the lost sales from the likes of me. Good for them.

Ning Wang
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For me the major reason is the free online game play.

John Hahn
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I wonder what % of 360 owners also own a PS3 and what % of PS3 owners also own a 360. It could be that we are talking about a rather small % of the overall market for these platforms. If only 5% of 360 owners also own a PS3 and 1% of those people participated in this survey, and 15% of those people are purchasing the game on PS3 instead of 360, then this is really much ado about nothing.

Assuming there is something to it, I would say the reason is simply because the PS3 is now the better console choice. When the originals came out the 360 online network and trophy/award stuff was much better than PS3. Now the PS3 is much more robust and fleshed out, thus giving people who own both more of a reason to get games on PS3 when they have to choose. The fact that the PS3 is a technically more powerful system and has a blu-ray player probably has something to do with it, too.

Adam Flutie
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@Ning - I completely agree. If I wouldn't have already joined the X360 camp and could merit another $300 purchase for a PS3 I probably wouldn't buy anymore games on the X360 again except exclusives simply because I don't think Gold is worth it.

Tito Belgrave
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@ Sid... simple explanation would be, other than multi-player "features" how else could they justify the "privilege" of being a gold member? ;)

Eric Carr
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@Adam & Ning - The free online gameplay makes sense for COD, but Assassin's Creed is single player without an online component as far as I know, so that can't tell the whole story either.

@ John - The 360 versions of games tend to be the leading SKUs, so one assumes they are being ported to the PS3. Being "technicaly more powerful" shouldn't a factor here.

Either way, this is certainly on the odd side.

Mike Lopez
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I am skeptical about any meaningful shift. My guess is that the vast majority of players with the money to buy both systems also have an XBL Gold account. Thus, why switch to PS3?

Adam Flutie
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@Eric - good point on the AC2 being single player. I still think James probably nailed it on the second post. People buy stuff for the newer system unless there is a huge feature jump from one to the next...

Tom Newman
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That's me. I own both. When PS3 was being released I drank the Sony Kool-Aid and thought it would be exactly what they said - all games in 1080p; etc. I bought my HDTV just for the PS3, and when I couldn't get one, I got a 360, getting a PS3 once they became availible. So far all cross platform games look much better on my Samsung 1080p 56"tv. Most of the PS3 games were only in 720p, and while I realize the 360 is just basicly blurring many of those games up to 1080, the end result is very noticible with the 360 having the clear edge. I have seen many "head-to-heads" giving PS3 the advantage, and while the improved shadow detail is there on the PS3, the glairing alaising is too much of a deterrent. Recently, I've had a couple friends buy a PS3 over a 360, and it's nice to finally see some exclusives, so I will be revisiting my current opinion, and DO plan on getting the PS3 version of a couple cross-platform titles, so we'll see. I'm optomistic.

Sean Maples
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Just had this thought. If you own a PS3 chances are you use it as a Blu-ray player. So chances are it is getting used a lot more then your Xbox 360, and I wonder if that increased usage is contributing to purchasing more games for it.

You use the PS3 more, you see a game you want, you see its on PS3, would you buy it for the platform you use less?

Daniel Boy
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"OTX data shows that 15 percent of those who plan to buy the PS3 version of Assassin's Creed 2 own the Xbox 360 version of the original, while only 7 percent of those who plan to buy the Xbox 360 version own the original game on PS3."

this means nothing without hard numbers:

case 1:

3M intent to buy the PS3 version => 15% of 3M played the first on the 360 => Microsoft loses 450k players

6M intent to buy the 360 version => 7% of 6M played the first on the PS3 => Sony loses 420k players

net gain for Sony: 30k.

case 3:

6M intent to buy the PS3 version => 15% of 6M played the first on the 360 => Microsoft loses 900k players

3M intent to buy the 360 version => 7% of 3M played the first on the PS3 => Sony loses 210k players

net gain for Sony: 690k.

So without the real numbers the % might be misleading.

Far more interesting: If we assume that the intent to buy is more equally distributed, it follows that in the last two years only 8% of 360 players migrated to the PS3. That's only a growth of <4% per year. Not that impressive thinking about RRoD or Bluray. If the 360 is leading in sales intent that growth is even lesser. Watching the gaming habits here in Europe I imagined a harder impact of the PS3 on the 360 population.

Michael Kolb
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I've had a 360 for a few years now and I am finally thinking of grabbing a PS3 now since it looks like Sony is now getting their act together. I'll still stick with my 360 since that's where all my friends are at.

Thomas Arnold
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I know that's not true for me. I want a PS3, but if I had one, I'd just play exclusives and blu rays on it.

I wonder how much these numbers have to do with red ringing Xbox 360s. If my XBox goes out it's over warrunty. Given I've RMA'd four XBox 360s, I might not choose to replace it. And if I get a PS3 I'd probably play a sequel on that. Like Bioshock 2.

Roberto Dillon
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Honestly I find hard to believe this: PS3 games are more expensive, why should someone who has both consoles pay more for a gaming experience which is basically the same? Free Online play? Yep, but you pay the box more, so there's no actual savings...

Jay Lee
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When I see it I'll believe it and especially so in the case of Modern Warfare 2. We'll see next week. Sounds like more of the case they are picking up data points based off a price cut and nothing more. November NPD will be here before we know it so not long before we all really know the facts.

Mark McGee
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Look at the 2009 year for PS3 vs 360:


-price drop

-Killzone 2 exclusive

-infamous exclusive

-Uncharted 2 exclusive

-Ratchet and Clank exclusive

-Fat Princess exclusive

-exclusive content for Batman


-price drop

-Halo Wars exclusive

-ODST exclusive

-Forza 3

Of course there are other things, but those are most of the big ones. PS3 is showing up, and that's why people are switching consoles, I think.

Guy IL
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Seems people can collect data, but can't analyse it properly:

The important thing to note, is how many people BOUGHT the first AC on each platform, and how many will buy the second one on each platform.

Now, we have a good measurement in the US of the first game: About 3 million bought if on the X360 and 1.5 on the PS3 (taken from VGChartz and compared against NPD)

We don't know how many people will buy the second one, but the gameplan purchase intent index presented by the same OTX guys shows a similar relation of about 2:1 in favor of the X360 - so let's assume we will have similar numbers: 3 Million and 1.5 Million

Out of the 1.5M who intend to buy the PS3 version, 15% owned AC1 on the X360 ==> 225K defected from X360

Out of the 3M who intend to buy the X360 version, 7% owned AC1 on the PS3 ==> 210K defected from PS3

Now that's pretty similar numbers, only 15K net gain for the PS3. But the numbers show a more interesting relation ship if we want to see what percentage of the people weren't happy with their version of the original AC1 and decided to defect:

225K who defected from X360 out of 3M is 7% desertion rate.

210K who defected from PS3 out of 1.5 is actually 15% desertion rate.

You can play different estimates on how many copies will AC2 sell and this will affect the respective desertion rates on both console, but since it all comes down to how many copies AC1 sold, the ratio between the two consoles remains constant: 2 to 1. What the numbers really tell us is this:

On average, PS3 owners of AC1 are twice as likely to switch side and buy their sequels on the other console when compared to X360 owners.

OTX somehow managed to misinterpret their own data and reach the opposite (and wrong) conclusion. Reminds me of the old GTA quote:

"while crime rates only go up if you don't turn the graph upside down. Turn it upside down, and they have halved- HALVED under me, Alex Shrub. Vote Shrub for president and you'll have a friendly face in the White House. A man you can trust."

Jerry Tromp
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So are there any numbers on legacy, ie how many of the PS2 owners bought an Xbox 360 initally, and how many xbox owners bought a PS3 initally? Those things also play some part I guess, perhaps some sony loyalists first bought a 360 because the PS3 wasn't attractive enough to buy yet, and they are now switching back to PS3 because there's more to it?

Jay Lee
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Pretty lame argument mark. I mean Fat Princess cmon. If anything Shadow Complex outshined that without issue. Not to mention the fact the 360 also has the GTA: Episodes and Left 4 Dead 2. So yea I don't really see it. Moreoever I'm also not sure how the PS3 makes up for the 2 million that microsoft has added on their US lead since the $199 price cut (and that number includes Sony's big month in Sept). So I have a problem seeing how a 2 million+ net gain could be a less of a net gain in SW compared to the PS3 100k+ in Nov.

Also I forgot to mention, MS has an exclusive co-marketing campaign with MW2 plus the exclusive bundle. There is SW right there as well.

Dave Smith
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The report is flawed because it's using percentages that don't take into account the difference between the number of people that owned the first Assassin's Creed on the 360 and the number that owned it on the PS3. It only has meaning if the original AC game sold the same amount on the PS3 and 360, but according to some sources, the 360 version outsold the PS3 version by 2:1, so for example (using made up numbers to illustrate the point): -

2,000 people bought the 360 version

1,000 people bought the PS3 version

3,000 people plan on buying Assassin's Creed 2

If the rate of defection is 10%, then that gives us this: -

5.24% of people that owned the PS3 version plan to buy the 360 version

18.18% of people that owned the 360 version plan to buy the PS3 version

So it looks much better for the PS3, even though the actual rate of defection on both platforms is the same and that discrepancy is due to a greater number of people buying the original game on the Xbox 360.

Not exactly a "win" for the PS3. More a "lose" for bad statistics.

gren ideer
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All this article implies is that the gap between 360 and PS3 sales for these titles will probably be less than what it was. It would be ridiculous to think that the PS3 versions will outsell the 360 versions and I don't think anyone is saying that. 360 just has a bigger installed base for that. But with the number of Slims getting sold and people wanting to buy games for their new system, it is likely that PS3 won't be so far behind this go around.