Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

New Survey Shows A Clear Next-Gen Winner

This November brings the release of the new PlayStation and Xbox consoles, and naturally, fans are waiting to see which company will come out on top. According to a survey conducted by market research firm VGC (results via GamesIndustry.biz), one gaming system in particular is positioned to be a clear winner in the upcoming console war. 


The survey was conducted back in September and used a sample of 511 respondents. Of the customers who had already pre-ordered one of the next-gen consoles, a staggering 72% had gone with the standard PlayStation 5. However, this impressive number comes with a pretty major caveat.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this survey is the number of people who placed pre-orders. Of the gamers surveyed, only a paltry 15% managed to actually pre-order the console that they wanted. Meanwhile, 29% of the respondents claimed that they had tried to pre-order a console, but had found themselves unable to do so. It is currently unclear what the rest of the gamers in the survey ended up doing, but it seems as though a majority of them decided to just wait until they could snag a console in the stores without a hassle. Still, not only is there a large number of gamers unaccounted for within the survey, but these results also highlight a major issue that has plagued the launch of the new console generation.


To put it plainly, pre-orders were a bit of a disaster for both consoles. Sony has already apologized for how the PS5 pre-orders were rolled out. After telling fans that pre-orders wouldn't be launched by surprise, Sony did exactly that. The result was that many gamers who had planned to pre-order a PS5 weren't able to do so before the first run was entirely sold out. Even after a few restocks, PS5 units were sold out within minutes, leaving people to try to figure out how to possibly get a PS5 before launch day. The launch of Xbox pre-orders also led to an uproar among fans, many of whom were confused about which console to buy.

Another big takeaway from this survey is that exclusive titles continue to be a huge draw for gamers. Fifty-two percent of the people who pre-ordered a PS5 said that they did so in anticipation of playing Spider-Man: Miles Morales. A large number of PS5 gamers said that either God of War: Ragnarok or Final Fantasy 16 were their main incentives for buying the next-gen console.

Meanwhile, the Xbox Series X exclusive that most enticed customers (at 45%) was Halo Infinite. Unfortunately for a lot of the folks who pre-ordered the Xbox Series X and Series S, Halo Infinite has been delayed until next year. Other gamers were more interested in Forza Motorsport or the new Fable reboot. 


What's interesting about the gamers who weighed in on exclusive titles is that many of them were unaware of a recent shakeup in the games industry. According to the survey, 63% of respondents had no idea that Microsoft had recently bought Bethesda's parent company, ZeniMax. This acquisition has left the futures of many major video game franchises up in the air, including Doom, Wolfenstein, and Fallout. It's unclear if this knowledge would have made any of the surveyed gamers rethink their choice of console pre-orders. 

Of course, there were also plenty of gamers who were excited for non-exclusives, as well. Forty-five percent of the players in the survey said that they were motivated to place their pre-orders after the announcement of Call of Duty: Black Ops – Cold War. While that game offers an upgrade path for cross-gen gamers, it's a pretty confusing one. It's not really a surprise that these gamers would want to cut out the middle step and just go straight for purchasing the next-gen edition of Cold War.

Despite the results of this survey, Xbox is probably not feeling the heat just yet. Earlier this year, Xbox boss Phil Spencer turned heads when he announced that he wasn't worried about how many consoles were sold within this year. Instead, he wanted to focus on giving customers a feeling of choice and the sense that they didn't have to upgrade until they wanted to. Whether or not Xbox has kept that promise is certainly up for debate, but it does seem like the company is pushing its new system less aggressively than PlayStation. Xbox's softer approach to its new console launch could account for the decidedly lukewarm response in the survey.


Overall, this survey seems to also back up the findings of Ampere Analysis, a research firm that recently predicted bad news for Xbox. According to Ampere Analysis, the PlayStation 5 will most likely sell over a million units more than the Xbox Series X in 2020 alone. With the first rounds of pre-orders completely sold through, the real test will begin when these consoles actually hit store shelves. The Xbox Series X and Series S will be released on Nov. 10, followed by the PlayStation 5 on Nov. 12.