Nielsen: 'Must-Have' Games Matter Least in PlayStation 3 Purchase

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God of War 3

Have you recently snagged a PS3 because of some game, say Sony's God of War III? You're in the minority, according to consumer habit tracker Nielsen. The company interviewed over 700 gamers aged 7 to 54 around the time Sony's myth-marinated action mashup launched and found just 12 percent eyeing the PS3 for "a specific game."

The top motivating factor might surprise you. "I want the Blu-ray capabilities," answered a whopping 65 percent of respondents, followed closely by "The recent price reduction has put the system in my price range" with 63 percent. Sony's PS3 trimmed $100 from its $400 tag last August, a move most believe accounts for the console's comeback performance in monthly sales since.

Nevertheless, God of War III had an impressive first sales month, leading in single unit sales with 1.10 million units in March--flanked only by Final Fantasy XIII, which sold more in combined platform sales. God of War III's followup month was less impressive, however, with the game plummeting to just 180,000 units, or an 84 percent drop off.

Other indices high on Nielsen's list of factors motivating a PS3 purchase include the library of games available (62 percent), upgrading from the PS2 (62 percent), connecting with friends who already have a PS3 (56 percent), and the PS3's "other multimedia capabilities" (49 percent).

Since this was a ranked survey, it's unlikely the answers masked secondary or tertiary desires. It's also hard to argue the results were skewed by a niche game, since God of War III was the top title chosen from a separate list of 20 PS3 titles.

Gamers clearly wanted God of War III, in other words, but the days of buying a game system on the basis of a single game--if they ever really existed--may be over.

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