NPD: PS3 owners unaware of multimedia features

Research obtained from NPD reveals that many consumers who own a PlayStation 3 are unaware of the systems various multimedia features beyond it's standard functionality as a disk-based videogames console.

The study, titled Next Gen Functionality & Usage, details that, while PS3 owners are found to download as much online content as those who own an Xbox 360, the majority of users were actually unaware of this function. Furthermore, most were more familiar with the Xbox 360’s online capabilities than that of PS3’s, and as a result were more likely to play games online on Microsoft’s next-gen console than Sony's.

The study also shows that around 71 per cent of those that own a PS3 as well as would-be owners rate the systems backwards compatibility option as its most important aspect; however, only 37 per cent were aware of it as a standard feature. Elsewhere, only 40 per cent of those who own a PS3 were aware of it’s capabilities as a Blu-ray player, though the number of those aware of the machines high definition output was considerably higher at 50 per cent, compared to only 30 per cent with Xbox 360.

Anita Frazer, an analyst at NPD commented: "I think what this really means is that gaming and all that is has to offer consumers has to be the first and primary focus of the machines and the software developed for them, whether it's from the first or third party manufacturers. While the extra features might be nice, they're not going to be a primary driver of a sale of a system.”

"That said, to the extent that the extra features might provide additional revenue streams for the parties involved, yes, there is more promotion needed to get consumers aware of the features and using them. I get asked a lot by people outside the industry if PS3 sales will benefit because it's a reasonably priced Blu-ray DVD player, and while I never believed a non-gamer would go out and pick up a PS3 in order to play movies, our research now backs this [belief] up. The systems are, by a big margin, game-playing devices."

We at PSU can only concur; consumer awareness in the additional features of PlayStation 3 could not only prove instrumental in increasing sales, but also attract consumers that are otherwise not interested in video gaming to perhaps utilize it as a means of testing the waters.

Source: Next Gen

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