A majority of Americans have never heard of PS4 Pro or Xbox Scorpio

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A Nielsen Games 360 Report just out shows that gamers aged 13 or older prefer to play on consoles rather than PC or mobile devices. Of those console gamers, more are inclined to buy a PS4 than any other console including the PS Pro and Scorpio. What is more shocking is that most people, gamers and non-gamers alike, have never even heard of the PlayStation Pro or Project Scorpio.

According to the report, 47 percent of players say that they prefer console gaming. Mobile platforms and PC split the remains of the demographic almost evenly 26 to 27 percent respectively.

The same pool was also asked, “How likely are you, or anyone else in your household, to buy each of the following game systems? (For any that you already own, please indicate if you would buy another.)”

Of the five current generation of consoles, PlayStation 4 was the most popular with 21 percent of gamers saying that they would definitely or probably purchase the system. The Xbox One came in second with 17 percent of the vote. Nintendo’s Switch was right behind it with 16. The PlayStation Pro and Project Scorpio came in last with 15 and 13 percent respectively.

The lack of interest in the PS Pro and Scorpio is interesting. One might chalk it up to the idea that nobody is interested in a mid-generation console. That when gamers are looking to drop several hundred dollars on a new console, they expect it to be leaps and bounds ahead of what they currently own and the Pro and Scorpio do not especially fit this bill.

However, another thing Nielsen Games looked at was brand awareness, and the numbers would seem to indicate that a surprising number of gamers have never heard of those console options. A shocking 73 percent of gamers surveyed were unaware that there was a PlayStation 4 Pro. Perhaps even more remarkable was that the study showed only 14 percent of players knew about Project Scorpio. Even fewer non-gamers had heard of them.

Just to be clear Nielsen defines “gamers” as anyone 13 or older that has played some type of game on any device within the last year. Using this very general definition and extrapolating for a sample size of 2,000 respondents, it figures that 64 percent of the entire population are gamers.

Knowing how they define the term helps in understanding why the awareness of the Pro and the Scorpio are so low, but it still does not change the fact that most people have no idea what these systems are. Could Sony and Microsoft be chasing the wrong rabbit with mid-gen hardware or are their marketing departments dropping the ball?

The Verge postulates that the companies are attempting to target marketing to enthusiasts rather than the general populous, that they are looking to entice current hardcore fans into making the purchase. I am not sure that this is the right tactic nor am I sure that the Verge’s assessment is on-point. According to an interview with DigitalSpy, Shuhei Yoshida, the President of Sony’s Worldwide Studios said that first time buyers are choosing the PS Pro over the standard PS4.

Plus, targeting enthusiasts does not make much sense. Why go to the trouble and expense of producing an upgraded console if you are going to limit your perspective market in such a way? Sure enthusiasts are more apt to adopt early, but they also have a current console. Unless they already have the 4K monitor, there is not much incentive for investing in a system that is exactly the same but adds 4K capability and a few other underwhelming features and specs.

What do you think? Why are so many people unaware of the PlayStation 4 Pro and Project Scorpio? We would love to hear your thoughts.

Top image by University of Rochester, Graphs by Nielsen Games



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