Blu-ray top reason for PS3 purchase: study

Survey finds HD movie format capability outranks games and recent price drop as main appeal of Sony's console.

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Sony has long touted the multimedia capabilities of its PlayStation 3 console, with its most recent marketing efforts using the succinct tagline of "It Only Does Everything." It seems that message has resonated with consumers, with a recent survey by market research group The Nielsen Company showing the console's Blu-ray playback capability was the number one motivating factor behind potential PS3 purchases.

Blu-ray is a popular feature of the PS3.
Blu-ray is a popular feature of the PS3.

The survey--which was conducted during a three-week period around the launch of God of War III--consisted of responses from 700 gamers aged between 7 and 54 who did not own a PS3, according to the Nielsen Wire blog. Respondents were asked to select from a list of 10 choices their top five reasons for wanting to purchase a PS3. Coming in at number one with 65 percent of respondents was Blu-ray capabilities, and the second most popular response at 63 percent was the console's recent price drop, which coincided with the launch of the Slim model.

Coming in next in the list of key motivating factors was the PS3's library of games and the desire to upgrade from a PlayStation 2, which both received 62 percent of responses each. Connectivity was the next big issue--having friends with PS3s and wanting to play with them was the fifth most popular at 56 percent, while the console's other online capabilities was sixth with 50 percent. Interestingly, being able to play a specific, exclusive game did not rank highly as a motivating factor for purchase, landing in at the 10th spot with 12 percent of responses.

"This is especially interesting because the tagline for Sony’s recent marketing campaign, 'It only does everything,' touts the entertainment versatility of the PS3 even as it features specific high-profile games, including GOW III, in select ads," the Nielsen Wire blog stated. "Considering the data, it appears as though this marketing strategy complements consumer sentiment."

"Despite the fact that buying a specific game does not rank high on the list of reasons for acquiring a PS3, GOW III was the most popular game among those who mentioned that a particular title is a top five motivator of their console purchase. Across a list of 20 PS3 titles, including Heavy Rain, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Little Big Planet, and Gran Turismo 5, one-third (33 percent) of gamers indicate GOW III as their first choice."

For its part, Sony seems more than happy with the success of its recent marketing efforts. Peter Dille, senior vice president of marketing and the PlayStation Network for Sony Computer Entertainment America, recently said the reaction to "It Only Does Everything" had been "tremendous" with other territories asking Sony to take the marketing campaign around the world.

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