In the race to be the leading next-generation console, any of the three manufacturers can take the prize, according to results of a new study by IGN Entertainment's GamerMetrics and IGN Research Solutions, though the PS3 has a marginal allegiance lead among the relatively committed IGN readers at this early stage.
The "IGN Research: Next-Gen Console Allegiance", taken from more than 30 million users' activity on IGN Entertainment websites, and from a pool of more than half a million users volunteering which titles they own, want and are evaluating, shows that 36% of the IGN.com audience claims loyalty to the PlayStation 3 as their next-gen console of choice. 28% of the audience say they have the strongest allegiance to the Xbox 360, while 22% pledge their faithfulness to the Nintendo Wii, and 14% of gamers are as yet undecided.
IGN's survey also profiled and analyzed its own readers, who appear to be relatively hardcore gamers, by lifestyle choices, media consumption habits, favorite brands and game genre preferences to understand what Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony need to consider as they strategize to emerge as the victor.
One noteworthy quality about the undecided gamers that IGN surveyed is the fact that they prefer role-playing games (RPGs), while the favorite genre of the entire survey sample is Action. This, coupled with the fact that 79% currently own a PlayStation 2 - traditionally considered the top console for players of RPGs - might give Sony the edge over their competitors.
IGN's 'undecided' gamers also seem to spend more time and money consuming their entertainment at home. More have sizable DVD collections than go out to the movies (67% own at least 20 DVDs, while only 50% went to see a movie within the 30 days before taking the survey), and many (47%) plan to buy an HDTV.
Other findings about this particular subset of perhaps atypical, but nonetheless important customers include the facts that 70% own a handheld gaming device (their preferred handheld being the PSP), 90% regularly download music from the internet and 60% own MP3 players.