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Survey reveals the truth about Xbox vs PlayStation

This holiday season will mark the release of both the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X. Naturally, this has people debating the merits of both new systems. The age-old console war has begun once again, with industry analysts and fans alike wondering which system is more likely to come out on top. In fact, a recent survey looked at the popularity of different brands in the video game industry, and it may give us an idea of what to expect in the next console generation.

In honor of July 8, National Video Game Day, National Today shared the results of a video game-centric survey from the PR firm TOP. The results may surprise you, particularly considering how divided the two camps were. According to the survey, Americans are actually evenly split between preferring Xbox and PlayStation overall. Both brands received 38% of the vote, with the Nintendo Switch coming in third. The survey was taken from a pool of 1,000 people, so there should be a pretty decent base here for what hardcore and casual fans tend to gravitate toward.

It's interesting to note that the survey also dove into which franchises customers tend to gravitate towards. Unsurprisingly, the ever-reliable Super Mario series took the top spot with an overwhelming 47% of the vote. That sounds like Nintendo will continue to be comfortable as Microsoft and Sony head into the next console generation. However, the second most popular franchise (at 21%) was actually Call of Duty, a series that is playable on a variety of platforms. 

Console-exclusive franchises like Halo ranked considerably lower in this survey, which makes it harder to discern a victor between the different consoles in this area. However, it is worth remembering that the Xbox Series X will have a new Halo entry at launch, Halo Infinite. This could give it a bit of a leg up on the competition, thanks to good ol' brand recognition.

Overall, however, it appears as though Nintendo leads the pack in terms of franchise popularity. Four of the top ten franchises in the survey are traditionally Nintendo exclusives: Pokemon, Super Mario Bros., Donkey Kong, and The Legend of Zelda. In other words, the top spots were dominated by either cross-platform titles or games that won't be on the Xbox or PlayStation. This makes figuring out a clear victor even more of a muddy prospect. It makes one wonder if these survey results are more due to Donkey Kong being a more universally recognizable name than, say, Assassin's Creed or something similar.

Mobile gaming was also a big focus of the survey, revealing that 66% of the people who participating enjoy playing mobile games when they're bored. This is also unsurprising, considering how huge mobile gaming has become in a matter of years. Earlier this year, it was revealed that the mobile version of Fortnite had earned Epic Games over a billion dollars in revenue.

Still, the big news here is the fact that the everlasting debate over PlayStation vs. Xbox doesn't appear to be going away anytime in the near future. There are a few reasons to believe that the Xbox may have a leg up in terms of bankable properties. However, PlayStation's recent Future of Gaming show gave fans a good look at some big franchises that will be returning for the next-gen console. There's also the fact that a recent study from Ampere Analysis seemed to indicate that the Xbox Series X's sales would pale in comparison to the PS5's. The question here becomes: how do we reconcile the differences between this research and the fan response in this survey?

For one thing, this survey shows us that the landscape of video gaming has changed during the preceding console generation. The Nintendo Switch and mobile gaming have become forces to be reckoned with, and could have some unforeseen impacts on the sales of new consoles. More than that, however, is the fact that Sony and Microsoft's unfolding marketing plans will likely sway public opinion one way or another.

Basically, it seems like either one of the big two new consoles could take the lead this year. Fans who have already decided which brand to root for are likely to be surprised by the results of this survey, but the coming months will be crucial in changing public perception of next-gen consoles. With upcoming events like Ubisoft Forward and the Xbox Games Showcase giving fans a look at future titles, there's still a chance that the even split between these two systems may become less even.