Poll Says More People Want a PS4 than an Xbox One — but Most Want Neither

As always, interpret online survey results cautiously.

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Microsoft, Sony

I’m lucky enough to be married to a researcher who grapples with polls and academic polling mechanics daily. When I showed her the particulars of an Ipsos Poll conducted for Thomson Reuters on video games, the results of which Reuters is touting as “Sony’s PS4 tops Xbox One as gamers’ holiday choice,” her takeaway was something else entirely: that the vast majority of people (note Reuters’ assumption that these were all “gamers” per its story title is erroneous) are interested in neither.

The Ipsos Poll was conducted between September 23-27 and involved a survey sample of 1,297 Americans, aged 18 or older, and interviewed online. In it, Ipsos asked half a dozen questions, like which gaming device(s) did the interviewee use to play games. (Response: Wii 23%, Android devices 21%, Xbox 360 20%, PC/Mac 20%, PS3 18%, iOS devices 12% and so forth.) Or how much time in a week did these people play games. (Response: 2 hours 17%, 3-5 hours 15%, etc.)

And then this question: “Which of the following, if any, would you be interested in purchasing?”

The results:

26% PlayStation 4
15% Xbox One
5% Nintendo 2DS
3% Steam Box
1% GamePop
1% GameStick
1% M.O.J.O.

…and last but not least in that list, “None of these,” which tallied 64%. That — not this notable but comparably nominal difference between PS4 and Xbox One interest — seems like the takeaway to me.

On the other hand, it’s important to be mindful of the survey methodology. This was an online, opt-in survey, for starters. Its precision was measured using something called a “credibility interval.” In this instance, the credibility interval was plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, which sounds pretty darned precise, except that credibility intervals — as Ipsos itself points out in the survey — are not the same as statistical margins of error.

Without delving into the byzantine and confusing world of survey mechanics and math, the rule of thumb for opt-in polls, according to the American Association for Public Opinion Research, is to tag such polls as potentially “subject to multiple sources of error, including, but not limited to sampling error, coverage error, and measurement error.” (Ipsos, to its credit, includes AAPOR’s guidance and precisely those words in the preface to its survey.)

What’s this so-called “credibility interval” worth, then? Does it tell us anything about the validity of the results above? Perhaps, but in Ipsos’ own words, we’re in “Brave New World” territory. The “credibility interval” is a modern means of attempting to reduce error in something like an opt-in, online survey. Given time and further refinement, it may prove more reliable. But for now, with apologies for the cliché, take the results above with the requisite grain of salt.

35 comments
enbeearz
enbeearz

Why I don't want a XBox one, is the fact that the xbox broke down a lot, had three and they all bust. Had one ps3 which is still working today. Also live was also free on the ps3 and xbox charge. Microsoft get making a quality product and drop the charge on live!!

Although when xbox was working I did prefer it, but can't take the risk its going to bust every year.

jdawg011_
jdawg011_

64% are either pc gamers, or not gamers.  Doesn't sound too unlikely.

spamjoes
spamjoes

I'm in the "I would like to have the Xbox One but I refuse to have a Kinect in my living room always listening and recording for the NSA" crowd.  I'm also a bit irritated at Microsoft for what they were trying to do, killing the used games market and forcing always-on connection.  I have been a staunch supporter of the Xbox 360 and have an impressive library of games, about 50% purchased "new".


In the end, I'll purchase a PS4... but if I had my wish it would be Xbox One as follows:

* No Kinect

* Hardware specs matching PS4

* Backwards compatibility with my existing 360 games library

* No always-on connection required

* Used games continue to work they way they currently do

But, alas...

spamjoes
spamjoes

Sounds like somebody's upset that the PS4 is ahead of the Xbox One and is simply trying to muddy the issue.  People wanting neither is immaterial here.

Twilord1
Twilord1

I wish they'd included Wii-U, 3DS, and Vita...

KyleAment
KyleAment

There sure are a lot of people who say Cell phones are Stealing gamers from consoles.  Yeh is that why call of duty sells well over 10 million copies?  Consoles need to push their hardware.  Most people buying these things don't care if it can watch T.V. they care about how good and smooth their 60 dollar games are going to play.  Microsoft should have ditched Kinect all Together and made the XBOX a powerhouse and kept the price point the same.  In my mind this is a 5-8 year investment.  100 dollars is almost nothing in the big picture (5-8 years).  It sucks to be a Gamer and see that both the Xbox And Playstation are already outclassed by even middle ground PC's before they hit the market.

JoelDT
JoelDT

You have to push processing power, GPU power, and SSD. A console with little to no load times on games is the console that will own the living room. All the other stuff is nice. Access to Netflix, access to items on the web. But it is not by any means the same experience. My experience on Hulu for example is profoundly different on a pc than it is on my Xbox. These are just added perks, but I am not going to add an all in one device that doesn't do anything all in one. I'm still going to need a cable box. All in one is just a word. I cant even play old games on the restriction box. (aka Xbox One)

There is nothing next gen about these consoles. 8 cores at 1.6 ghz... Not amazing at all. Why is anything these days running below 3 ghz? Its just the same recycled hardware over and over again. There is nothing next Gen about this system hardware wise. The fact new smartphones are running at 1.6ghz at 8 cores makes us roll our eyes when a console comes out boasting that. How about 4ghz at 8 cores? My pc runs that fast as of 6 months ago. 5ghz at 8 cores is coming out soon... I mean What the heck?

Then we have cloud which no one cares for. We have a limited amount of data, that is accessed over the internet. Its nice, but unless your willing to offer 100gb for free. Then I'll stick to my hard drive. I'm getting nickle and dimed by these consoles and services. People still want to do certain things offline. I don't leave my house enough for this to be "AWESOME" its a great idea, but at bigger storage requirements you need to start deleting and adding and micromanaging or paying through the nose. I am tired of subscription based things. EVERYONE wants to do it. Now we have A hole companies like Verizon that make cancelling as complicated as navigating US Tax code. Comcast is doing Data caps so those games that are now going to be 50gb each with bluray... Buy 3 games in a month and stream movies and your losing your interenet. Companies have destroyed everything by regulating and adding restriction after restriction and charging for things that were once free. Tired of it, I would rather go without these things and save my money. 

Another things are these terms of service agreement, that pretty much tell the consumer. We're going to collect YOUR data, we will trade and sell it. You have no say in it and this is something the company does to make money. Look its my data right? Well if you want to make money of my DATA I want a cut! End of story or you can allow me to opt out. My data, my choice what is done with it. If I want it destroyed I should have that option. 

The Kinect. WHO CARES ABOUT THIS THING. If you want people to like it and adopt it... WELL offer it for nothing and I could care less if its in the box or not. But I am not paying 499 for a device that's going straight to a recycling program. 


supamonkey77
supamonkey77

I have a PS3 (that's getting long in the tooth) and a decent collection of games. When the PS4 comes out I might buy another PS3 so I can play my library of games  for at lease another 3-4 years.

danfangmeierwork
danfangmeierwork

If you total the percentages of people that want one of the listed gaming devices it adds up to 52%. So you could say that 52% of respondents want to purchase one machine or another and 64% want no new machine at all. You are right Matt, something is wrong here.

twinstripe.uk
twinstripe.uk

Now this is why I like reading Matt Peckham's articles - fact without spin. The poll itself also highlights that these things are rarely representative of the full picture if you only draw out the figures you want - out of 1300 people (a third of which were over 40 and the rest were over 18), 325 want a PS4, 195 want an Xbox One and 832 aren't interested at all! And the question wasn't even about whether they were buying one, only 'if they would be interested'!

And it was 'opt-in', so an as yet unaccounted for number (probably a majority) couldn't even be bothered to answer.

So why so many 'reputable' sites have felt the need to republish their own, biased version of the poll is completely beyond me - full points to Mr Peckham (and in turn, TIME) for having the credibility not to fall into the same trap of link-bait so called journalism!

Mord
Mord

The 64% belong to Glorious PC gaming master race.

mason.rieber93
mason.rieber93

lets also forget to mention the poll is 18+ years old and we all know a huge amount of gamers are below that age bracket whether we like it or not



vedicshadow
vedicshadow

Mr. Peckham, only 400 people in this poll were aged under 40. I don't think this means half as much as you all (reporters) seem to believe it does. We've been hearing for years about the rise of the smartphone tablet and doom of the consoles, but the truth is, you analysts (here's lookin at you pachter, how u have a job is beyond me) and writers aren't in touch with the game industry or the people that really move the gamers. It's not the people playing angry birds or infinity blade, and it's not the millions of people who picked up a wii for nintendo nostalgia and then left it in the dust just as quickly; it's core gamers. 

MatthewBryant
MatthewBryant

In what alternative dimension is having 26% of 313 million people wanting to buy your console a bad thing?  That's the entire PS3 userbase without adding in other countries.  I think people are looking at this the wrong way.  I can't imagine why anyone would be ridiculous enough to pretend that 25% of a nation buying a piece of electronics is not enough.  That's amazingly good.

Also, there's a huge difference in margin of error between an internet poll on a website and a legitimate online survey conducted by a pollster.  One is susceptible to a ridiculous amount of bias and one has less bias than a phone or mail survey.  Reuters doesn't do embedded polls, so...  it's a relatively accurate survey.  Why are we pretending that the internet can't be used to do legitimate scientific polls?  Of course it can, you just have to make sure that location data, sex, and age are taken into consideration.  This is the most accurate poll done so far on the console wars by far.

bigfatshady
bigfatshady

I as of this morning fell into the 64%. I cancelled my XB1 pre-order at Amazon after thinking about it. The only reason is the games I want wont be out till 3rd and 4th quarter of 2014. Titanfall,Destiny and Halo5. I can play BF4 on my 360.

Biggsy77
Biggsy77

The only issue with this article & it's points on "credibility interviews", margins for error et al. The pre order figures at Amazon, which is a simple & not really up to interpretation set of figures. Have the PS4 out pre ordering the Xbox one by a similar amount. The estimates for the first weeks sales figures, based on these preorders are 1 million sales for the Xbox one & 1.5 million for the PS4

Swofflo39
Swofflo39

@spamjoes  Always-on connection isn't required and used games will work the same.

jdawg011_
jdawg011_

@spamjoes You're right about the low power state kinect always listening, but the used game issue is no more, and niether is the 24 hour connection issue. 

I don't understand why they even had the thought of the 24 hour connection, since people do have this thing called a life.  The used game thing was more about you downloading the games so you could play without the disk, but they changed it so you can either buy it online and play without a disk but not be able to loan or resell, or you can buy disk and no download but you can lend it or resell.

Kinglammy
Kinglammy

@spamjoes But...it isn't always connected to the internet and they fixed the used game situation. This is old news man

justerthought
justerthought

@JoelDT

You're another misguided PC fool. You are judging a game console by referencing your PC. Why do you guys do that. Do you feel threatened and need to comfort yourself by claiming superiority.

PS4 is next gen. It's a large upgrade from last gen. Last = PS3, not PC.

You foolishly keep referring to PC spec as a measure of PS4 performance. They operate in a different universe. PC is a multipurpose computing device and the PS4 is a games machine. CPU clock speeds and CPU DDR3 RAM are very important for multipurpose computing, but have little use for gaming. The majority of gaming power comes from the GPU and its associated GDDR5 RAM.

The multipurpose nature of a PC means that it is very wasteful of its hardware and does not make full use of it due to a heavy multilayered OS running background processes that have nothing to do with gaming. PC's need the higher clock speeds to run all that crap. As a result, you have to crack a nut with a sledge hammer on PC with an over kill of hardware.

In contrast, the PS4 is fully optimised for games making full use of its hardware. The hardware that it has is extremely powerful for games and fully cures all the design flaws present in the PS3. It is truly next gen and uses tech the PC does not have at present, such as unified memory and HUMA. That means CPU and GPU can assess the same memory data in the RAM and they don't have to waste time making a personal copy of the data before using it. PC cannot be accessed by both and every process has to waste time making its own copy of data before it can be used.

Most gaming PC's have 2GB of GDDR5 RAM available to the GPU for gaming. The PS4 has 5.5GB when you subtract the 3.5GB OS allocation and then add back in the 1GB optional RAM. That's a big difference. Ultra high spec PC's will always be more powerful than a PS4 because you can just throw money at it and buy a bigger sledge hammer. But for pure next gen gaming and value for money, PS4 is a dream machine.

XB1 will be a great next gen console as well, but it cannot match the hardware spec of the PS4. Make no mistake, all that extra power will go straight to the games. Anyone under the illusion that it will be like PS3 where the extra power never materialised in 3rd party games due to hard to programme CELL and lack of GPU RAM will be sadly disappointed. PS4 cures all those problems in excess making.

Just to put things back into perspective, that PC 5Ghz 8 core CPU sledge hammer you're touting will have very little benefit to gaming performance. You would be wiser to target your money on a more powerful GPU with more built in GDDR5 RAM.

I suggest you go back to your PC and enjoy it. The PS4 is serving a different market that you don't belong to. It's a cost effective £345 device for hardcore gamers that will allow them to play next gen games without having to be an IT geek messing around upgrading stuff everytime a new game won't work.



mustang380hp
mustang380hp

@JoelDT Oh and how is there nothing next gen about these consoles. I would say an 8 core cpu is a giant step up from a tricore processor. Do you expect them to put a $350 dollar processor in something that cost 400-500 dollars? 

Old system tricore with 512 mb of ram

New system octocore with 8gb of ram.

That is a bigger hardware increase than Xbox to Xbox 360. So please explain what is not next gen about it as consoles never have and never will have the newest technology in them. It is not possible to keep the price low while making a profit. Yes a profit something every company must do to survive. 

MatthewBryant
MatthewBryant

@JoelDT SSD is way too expensive to come stock in a games console.  Of course, on the PS4 you can switch out the HDD for a SSD just like you can on the PS3.  So if you really want to do that, then go for it.  A decent size SSD would push up the price of the console about 50%.  Few people would want to spend $600-$700 console just for faster load times, and the few who do can always make it happen.

I agree about the Kinect.  It's useless for a game console, and Xbox One is a game console whether Microsoft admits to it or not.

mustang380hp
mustang380hp

@JoelDT You clearly do not understand technology. For starters the processor in a computer and a cell phone are not even the same architecture. There for the processor are no where the same in terms of power, not even close. Secondly there is no true 8 core smart phone yet, Samsungs Exynos does not run 8 cores at once. Thirdly SSD is not cheap enough to be used as mass storage on something only 399. Especially when they are pushing a digital age. Also the 360 ran a tricore processor and very little ram, the new systems are a great step forward. Since all games are developed for the system specifically they will be able to do wonders with the set up.

cjohnson6090
cjohnson6090

@danfangmeierwork Is it really so hard to figure out that based on the question, that a number of people checked multiple answers?  The totals do have to add up to 100%.  Why are you people so dim?

JamBeekay
JamBeekay

@vedicshadow I share your sentiment. While mobile and tablet games are booming the fact that Grand Theft Auto 5 broke so many records and series like Call of Duty sell more every year should be an indication that the gaming industry is fairly healthy still and while people (as well as myself) do like our little dinky mobile and tablet games, console experiences are not going away anytime soon. Mobile games may be enjoyable but lets face it are only there to preoccupy you on the bus or while waiting around. 

As for this survey, not sure what to make of it or what is the point. It seems everyone is keen on rooting for a winner in the "console wars" and its just catering to that crowd as these polls do get attention and people talking. However I wonder... Were the 64% not interested even people who ever owned a console before? I have met several people who own a PS3 who do not have any interest in a new consoles as they feel they cannot provide an experience substantially different from the current gen consoles. But while these people do exist, I wonder if the results of this survey will be reflective of the reality 5 years from now regardless of the statistical insignificance of it.

One thing people are forgetting is we live in a time where people are willing to spend more on technology when these next-gen consoles are significantly cheaper compared to the past generations. I strongly doubt that people will be so reluctant to buy a $399 multimedia entertainment and gaming device with a 5 to 10 year life cycle in a world where people are willing to spend 499$ annually on an iPad but only time will tell whether this is fact or fiction.

Good and balanced article nevertheless. 

mason.rieber93
mason.rieber93

@MatthewBryant lmfao... a "relatively accurate" survey that was only 1300 people out of the millions upon millions that will be picking up one or the other / both of these systems is accurate??? not to mention that most of these people were over the age of 40 (which isnt the general age of gamers, casual or hardcore)..... its a failed poll plain and simple no matter how "good" they typically are at giving these

SeanHayden
SeanHayden

@bigfatshady That trailer at E3 wasn't Halo 5. Destiny gets exclusive content on Sony consoles, you're only getting an Xbone for Titanfall, sad.

MatthewBryant
MatthewBryant

@Biggsy77 The article just caters to the neutrality crowd.  It's obvious to anyone who's honest and is following the battle between Sony and Microsoft that the PS4 is currently doing much better.  That may change, but right now the PS4 has an obvious advantage.  This poll doesn't shock me.  It's confirming what most people have already known for a while.  Microsoft is doing better than they were 3 months ago, but they have a LOT of damage control to do still.  A lot.

Biggsy77
Biggsy77

*intervals

Sorry my comment was posted by iPhone. Got to love auto-correct lol

GEorgeWbuShe
GEorgeWbuShe

Thank you King for not being one of the thousands of still mentally handicapped console buyers. I thank you

MatthewBryant
MatthewBryant

@mason.rieber93 @MatthewBryant It's the most accurate poll to date, and I can't imagine why you'd pretend that this doesn't reflect reality.  Anyone who doesn't have their fanboy goggles on should already know what the results showed.  PS4 has more interest right now.  This is already known.  Nothing to see here.  Moving on.

JasonAndrewHahn
JasonAndrewHahn

1300 people can tell you alot about any product, as long as it accurately  and randomly reflects the population it is covering. However I don't think an "opt-in" online survey is going to have the accuracy anybody hopes for.



MatthewBryant
MatthewBryant

@JasonAndrewHahn You do realize that almost all surveys are opt-in right?  The fact that it's online really doesn't change much.  So long as you have location information, the location of the survey doesn't overly matter.  This wasn't a website poll, it was a legitimate survey.  There were too many people in the survey who were 40+, but even among the typical gamer age range there were enough people for a 4-5% error margin.  What this survey does is simply throw more evidence at everyone's suspicions.  That the PS4 will probably sell considerably better at launch.  I don't think anyone but the most hardcore fanboy deniers would pretend for a second that the PS4 isn't in a much better position right now.  This shouldn't be a surprise to anyone, and it's amazing how many people want to discredit the survey for stating the obvious.  It's like the GOP during the 2012 presidential election.  Screaming bias until the end, and then they lost.  The PS4 is more popular right now.  This is common sense.  We already know this.  Less rage over the obvious from people would be nice.