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No Stranger to the (Video) Game: Most Eighth Gen Gamers Have Previously Owned Consoles

1 minute read | Nicole Pike, Director of Nielsen Games | February 2015

Gaming consoles ranked high on wish lists of kids and adults alike during the holidays. To meet this demand, Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft have all pushed bundle deals and specials to compete for a spot in the family media cabinet.

This holiday season also ushered in a transition away from the previous generation of systems (Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360), with the eighth generation of gaming consoles (Nintendo Wii U, Sony PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Xbox One) now available. However, even though their devices are new, the vast majority of eighth gen owners are not newcomers to console gaming: nine in 10 have previously owned a seventh gen console. 

Nintendo has tapped into its loyal fan base with its latest system—86% of Wii U owners are prior Wii owners. Consumers appreciate the fun-factor, kid-friendliness, and value of Wii U. Not far behind, three of four Microsoft Xbox One owners are previous Xbox 360 owners. And this is understandable, as these consumers indicate their top reason for purchasing an Xbox One was the brand. Meanwhile, PlayStation 4 has shown an ability to capture both previous PlayStation 3 owners, as well as competitive seventh gen users, thanks to its superior resolution, Blu-ray player and game library according to purchasers.

All in all, the new crop of gaming consoles is still revered for features that made their seventh gen counterparts successful—though of course with next generation technology breathing new life into the systems and the category.