Ipsos Insight released the results of a consumer market research study to measure consumer intent to purchase next-generation video gaming consoles, including attitudes toward vibration feedback (or rumble) technology.
The study, sponsored by Immersion Corporation included 1,075 respondents aged 18 and older who both own a video game console and play games for more than four hours each week. The game players were drawn from a statistical sampling of the Ipsos North America online panel of more than 800,000 U.S. households.
The study highlights the importance that many active console gamers place on rumble/vibration feedback in their gaming experience across a wide range of game genre. The study also highlights current gamer expectations and desire that the rumble/vibration feature be present in Sony’s PS3 and for the PS3 to include the feature when playing PS1 and PS2 games. The study results indicate that Microsoft may gain share in the next year at the expense of Sony among these active console gamers, with possibly greater gains as consumers learn about the lack of the rumble/vibration feature in the PS3 controller and possibly the console.
Almost three in four respondents (72 percent) agree that rumble/vibration feedback enhances their game experience in one or more of these ways “most of the time”: makes the game more fun, involves the player more in the game, makes the game seem more real, helps the gamer play better. Only 5 percent of gamers agree with this statement: “The rumble feature should be totally removed from all video console games.”
More than four of every five gamers surveyed (83 percent) feel that it is “important” or “very important” that the new version of a video game console offer backward compatibility for video games made for the previous console version. Furthermore, more than two-thirds of respondents (69 percent) consider rumble/vibration feedback part of the definition of backward compatible.
Gamers were asked what feature set they would like in a controller, assuming both motion/tilt sensing and rumble were technically feasible. The rumble feature with or without motion/tilt sensing was preferred on each of the three platforms: 59 percent on the PS3, 52 percent on the Xbox 360, and 44 percent on the Wii. Motion/tilt sensing alone was preferred only by 8 percent of respondents for the PS3, 7 percent for Xbox 360, and 6 percent for Wii systems.
Video console gaming remains a popular entertainment pastime, with about one-half of gamers (49 percent) saying they play about the same amount as a year ago. About one in four (26 percent) say they play more, and another one in four (24 percent) say they play less, with those who play less citing “having less time to play games” as the major reason.