Report: Xbox 360 Holiday Sequel-Buyers Switching to PS3

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War...war never changes, but in the looming battle-royale between the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, a new study suggests Sony may be poised to pull ahead of Microsoft over the holidays. Data collated by business intelligence trend-tracker OTX GamePlan Insights suggests US sequel-buyers favor the PS3 over the Xbox 360 for at least two major holiday releases.

According to Gamasutra, OTX looked at intent-to-purchase metrics in its study of holiday consumer purchase plans, and noticed an intriguing trend among likely buyers of Assassin's Creed 2.

The researcher found that 15 percent of gamers who expressed intent to purchase the PS3 version of Ubisoft's forthcoming Renaissance-parkour game owned the Xbox 360 version originally, while just 7 percent who expressed intent to buy the Xbox 360 version owned the PS3 version originally. Put another way, sequel-buyers seem to favor the PS3 version of Assassin's Creed 2 two-to-one.

OTX noted a similar trend for Activision's Modern Warfare 2, with analyst Nick Williams going so far as to state "The PS3 seems poised to shift the ratio of Xbox 360 to PS3 sales for most major multi-platform releases in its favor among dual owners."

Or does it? Is that 7 to 15 percent gap "statistically significant" given Microsoft and Sony's disparate console install bases (Microsoft leads Sony roughly two-to-one in the US)? What about that sudden inexplicable reference to dual ownership at the article's end (not mentioned at the outset)? Does the study refer only to gamers who already own both an Xbox 360 and PS3? If so, does a 7 point lead in one group over the other really constitute a "defection"?

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