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Expensive games stifle consoles' growth, survey reveals

Twenty-one percent of UK respondents to a survey released by Entertainment Media Research says they play PC games offline, 20% play PC games online, 17% play handheld games, and only 12% play console games – the same percentage who play mobile phone games.

When asked their intentions for take-up of activities they were not currently participating in, 24% said that they intended to start watching HD movie discs within the next six months. Within the next six months, 13% plan on making calls with Skype or other online services and 12% plan to watch television on their PCs via a tv-card/USB tuner.

The highest game-related take-up was the intention to play console online games, with 8% of the respondents saying that they plan to do so in the next six months.

Seventy-three percent of respondents own a digital camera, 62% own a mobile phone with Internet access, 50% have a wireless network at home, 41% own a DVD recorder and 30% own an iPod. Games are not high on the list of ownership with only 16% reporting that they own a Nintendo Wii, 13% owning an Xbox 360 and 10% owning a PS3.

When asked their reasons for not purchasing a specific current generation console, the number one response across all platforms was that the systems were too expensive - although the percentage is higher for the PS3 (46% ) than for the Wii (38% ). The second reason for not purchasing a specific console is that the games are too expensive.

As far as purchase intentions are concerned, the respondents showed a slight preference for the PS3 over the Xbox 360 – 9% to 6% – but the Wii still led with 15%.

Looking at the general attitudes of respondents, a full 84 per cent think games are too expensive, 74 per cent think they can be finished too quickly for the price and 73 per cent find console exclusivity to be frustrating.

The respondents – 1,608 – were selected to be representative of the UK national demographic (50% were female and 52% between the age of 35 and 54).

Story filed 10.03.08

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