Study: People Buy PS4 for Graphics, Xbox One for Brand, Wii U for Fun

Nielsen study also shows the PS4 has been successful in attracting gamers who previously owned an Xbox 360 or Wii.

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Retail monitor Nielsen has released the results of its latest gaming study, this one examining the top factors shoppers considered when buying their new-generation console.

For gamers aged 13 and up, "better resolution" was a top driving factor for PlayStation 4, while "brand" was the leading quality for Xbox One. Meanwhile, people gravitated most toward the Wii U for its "fun-factor."

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The study, called "Nielsen 360 Gaming Report" asked 4,400 respondents what were the driving factors behind the purchase of their consoles.

The results showed a significant difference in reasons between all three consoles, with only the processing speed being a popular response among both Xbox One and PS4 owners.

In the first year of the PS4 and Xbox One lifecycle, a major talking point was resolution. Some multiplatform games were able to achieve full 1080p resolution on PS4 while their Xbox One counterparts did not.

GameSpot recently investigated the issue, conducting a study to see if gamers could really spot the difference between Xbox One and PS4 based on graphics; see the full video here.

Nielsen's new gaming study also shows that the vast majority of new-generation system owners have owned a home console before. In fact, nine out of 10 had owned either a PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, or Wii.

86 percent of Wii U owners previously owned a Wii. Meanwhile, 76 percent of current Xbox One purchased an Xbox 360 last generation, which Nielsen notes is understandable given that these shoppers stated that their top Xbox One purchasing reason was the brand.

The PS4, on the other hand, showed that it was successful in capturing not only previous PS3 owners (66 percent), but also Xbox 360 (59 percent) and Wii (72 percent). This might explain why the PS4 has gotten off to such a hot start, leading the early sales race against the Xbox One and Wii U.

Check out the full chart below.

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In terms of methodology for this study, Nielsen sent along the following information:

"Data for the Nielsen 360° Gaming Report was collected via consumer surveys using Nielsen's proprietary, high-quality online panel in the United States.

Two waves of data were collected for this year’s report:

  • Wave 1: 11/7/2014 – 11/12/2014. ~2,000 teens/adults aged 13+, ~400 kids aged 6-12 (interviews are paired with parent).
  • Wave 2 (to assess adoption of gaming devices during the crucial holiday period): 1/22/2015 – 1/27/2015. ~2,000 teens/adults aged 13+.

Post-survey, raw data was weighted to ensure representation of the US General Population based on current US Census data."

Updated: 3:35 PM EDT with methodology information.

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